An honest reflection of me- in fragments. Imperfect- Grace Covered. Balance. Mom. Wife.
Nurse. Homeschool Teacher. Christ follower first. Second changes. Thankful.

Dear Body

Friday, May 28, 2010

It's been 28 years, and we've been through a lot:

I have under-fed and over-exercised you
irrational teen-reflection is my plea
I have over-fed you and while we love dessert - it dosen't love us back
hanging my head in shame
I've skipped out on giving you the exercise you need
I frequently deprive you of sleep
You've stretched to nourish and craddle a growing baby
times 2
I'm working on finding balance for us
You're starting to look healthy again
you're welcome
Today you were "noticed" during our jog, while pushing the double stroller filled with 90 pounds of children -ages 4 and 3
And by "noticed" I mean thumbs up x3, goofy grins and cat-calls from convertible-driving-joy-riding teen boys
i laughed out loud
I'm blessed with a husband who loves you and tells me I'm beautiful no matter what shape you're in
he's the best
It's swimsuit season
so here's to salad, protein, low carbs, looking great (again), getting healthy and another 28 years plus
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More than skin deep

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I received an invitation to join an invitation-only online community, because of my blog, specifically its "super impressive design" (laughable - it's a standard blog spot template) "and content"
I was skeptically, but a little intrigued
So I checked it out
It's a fashion site
And although I have become more of a girly-girl in recent years, and my DVR records What Not To Wear
Fashionista, I'm not...
I'm more of a low budget work-in-progress,
I need to make a shopping date with this girl, although she might deny it she is a fashion inspiration to me (and a few others I know).
I decided I don't have the time nor do I want to make the time to have an opinion on random strangers outfits and color combinations.
I definitely do have opinions.
Besides, for me beauty is a lot more than the clothes and accessories you put on.
No matter how you embellish the outside, if the inside is or feels ugly - it's not going to matter
We need to have an attitude of beauty that radiates from the inside-out
You can't find it in a store,
it's not for sale - that's because it's free
but that also doesn't mean it's easy...

So here are "my" beauty tips:
clothed with Jesus Christ (Romans 13:14)
clothed modestly, and with good deeds (1Timothy 2:9-10)
clothed with strength and dignity (Proverbs 31:25)
clothed with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience (Colossians 3:12b)
Is not life more important than food and the body more important than clothes? (Matthew 6:25b)
Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7b)

If we're clothed in Jesus and daily applying the accessories of goodness to the inside,
The clothes we wear to cover our bodies the bling we add for fun - doesn't seem that important
So, -- I'm not sure you want my opinion.

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Words, Honesty, Forgiveness, Scripture, Love -

Good, bad, indifferent
All are open to interpretation
And may be internalized differently by each person that receives them
A word so easily forgotten by one, can cause reflection in another
That's why I wrote Remember - a misinterpretation of forgotten words
Some words are not meant to be interpreted.
Some words are empty and others have weight
Misinterpretation aside my plea was honest
But it may have been just as much for me as anyone
See, I'm great at remembering the crap I put myself through
Inside I know I'm forgiven,
I know I don't deserve to be,
I know how good God is,
I know He's erased it, and yet somehow in his awesomeness He's used it to shape me
So, sometimes I need to be reminded

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man...But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us -- Romans 5:6-8 --
Therefore there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus --Romans 8:1 --

I'm blessed in this life with relationships that are in Christ
With people who are honest
And forgiving
No matter how old a little girl gets,
She's never too old for affirmation from her daddy.
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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The curls that bounced atop my head
My smile
The kind heart that cared for my brothers
My love
The songs I sang
My voice
The attention I gave to details
My clean room
The nightmares that stole my sleep
My fears
The respect I gave you coach
My talent
The drive to please and impress you
My obedience

Please don't remember me only as the little girl who grew up to hurt and disobey you
I did, I know
But I was so much more
I am so much more
And I want you to remember
Please remember me
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Monday, May 17, 2010

Our 6-year anniversary of marriage is quickly approaching
And last night we celebrated on Jacob's parents dime (thank-you in laws!)
Free babysitting and ca$h for dinner :)
We conversation-spied on the table of 60+ year-olds talking about Lady-Gaga and the top-40 music scene (and we laughed - because, well...seriously?)
We enjoyed tasty food from NORTH - modern Italian cuisine
We talked about the kids, and about the worry and stress that comes with parenthood
And breathed a sigh of relief together as it seems Ethan is returning to normal
The waitress couldn't keep our water glasses full enough
We ordered two desserts, and one-decaf coffee for me
And I posed the question "Are we where you thought we'd be six years ago?"
Jacob's simple reply was "no"
And when I asked for an explanation...
"I didn't have any expectations" was his reply
I love him for this!
And he loves me in spite of my expectations!
He's my comic relief, my dose of honesty and he's up for the challenges- whatever they may be.
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Sometimes feelings are best expressed in poem

I come to bed late, my head still awake
I sneak in quietly, and curl up on one side
My mouth full of words, that I'm too late to speak
Your sleepy ears don't hear, and I can't make you stir
In just a few hours the alarm will ring
You'll rush to work, while I struggle to wake
I don't want to argue, I don't want to fight
I noticed the washer quietly cycling, and the peace that follows bedtime
I hate the feeling that's nothing at all
I want to tell you what I need, but I don't know
I'm sorry my love, please forgive me--maybe tomorrow
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Spirit slapped...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

So I just posted Cry
I talked to mom, I emailed a friend, I caught up on a few blog posts
Work is super-slow and I don't have an assignment tonight, so don't worry I'm not neglecting patients.
I inhaled the dry hospital air, and exhaled my worry in prayer
And my worry was replaced with the truth...God is trustworthy
Last night we (Ethan, Charlie and I) drove through a storm
The rain pounded our car, the sound resonated and made my head ache,
In patches the visibility was nil, and I was forced to pull over - much to Ethan's disatisfaction ("Mom" he said "dad will be so disappointed if we don't keep driving home")
When the storm was all we could hear, when the kids banter turned watchful and still
We prayed
And we praised the one true God who sends the rain and directs the path of the tornado
We trusted Him, the creator, to take care of us
Guess what -- He did
And He is also the great physician
He will take care of you.
I will trust Him
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It's important to me, because you're mine
I want you to be okay, I keep telling myself it's nothing
I watch you run, I watch you fall
You get up and try again, and I hurt for you
It doesn't hurt you say, and I hear you trying to reassure me
The frustration mounts, and tears well up beneath
I want to know why, I want a plan
Deep breath
Embrace a hug from a friend, compose myself
Hear your voice over the phone, laugh, smile, blow you kisses goodnight
I'll do my best not to worry, for it accomplishes nothing
Sleep tight my son
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Sunday, May 9, 2010

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Proverbs 31:10 A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.
Our sermon today was about the 7-qualities of a woman that make her a "ruby"
Without my mom - who is a ruby (NO doubt), her example, her love, her prayers, her forgiveness, her mediation (you know)
I would not be the woman I am today.
To be completely honest I've always been a little intimidated by Proverbs 31. It's a lot to live up to, but when I heard these 7-qualities and realized I had a shining example of them in my life, somehow it seemed a little more attainable.
I've always wanted to be like you mom...
1. Hard Worker -- I don't remember a day when you weren't up before me or in bed after me, and it was because you were being a servant to our family.
2. Godly Priorities -- The image is etched into my memory, clutter kitchen table and you with your coffee and the Word opened up journaling. It was how you started your day (it's how I try to end mine)
3. True Beauty -- Absolutely beautiful, from the inside-out. Enough said!
4. Moral Virtue -- I grew up watching you and dad; hug, kiss, laugh, love and sacrifice for each other and even more for us.
5. Spirit of Hospitality -- It may have been a rat race to get the house cleaned up, or maybe it didn't matter if it was a mess...honestly I can't remember. But what I do remember is our house was always open, it was a place filled with friends, and a place that all were welcome.
6. A servant's heart -- While we straightened hymnals you were busy scrubbing toilets and vacuuming floors, while we played games you played the piano, while we sat and listened you taught. Thank you
7. Spiritual Maturity -- You seek His word, you pray, you have a quiet and gentle spirit. And while the fruit of the spirit's not a coconut, it is you!
Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control.

I can't take back the years I try so hard to forget.
The years I hurt you.
But I can thank you for believing in me, for trusting God and for the countless hours you spent in prayer over me.
I never really understood until I held Ethan, the words you spoke with such conviction "you'll understand when you have kids"
And I do understand, I do.
Thank you for being a Ruby mom, and for helping me strive to be one too.
I love you!

Proverbs 31:31 Bring her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
Mom, you deserve to be praised and I am so very thankful God gave me to you. I hope your work in me brings you praise.
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They make me

Saturday, May 8, 2010

  • They are beautiful.
  • They are ages 4 and 3.
  • They irritate each other.
  • They laugh; out-loud, often, at me, at daddy, at eachother and at themselves.
  • They play make-believe.
  • They stretch my patience.
  • They love each other.
  • They smile best for pictures when Jacob hides behind me and makes silly faces (and yes that's how this picture was captured).
  • They are fun.
  • They ask questions, a LOT of questions
  • They are great helpers.
  • They give the best hugs.
  • They are occasionally great listeners.
  • They amaze me.
  • They appreciate the little things (like when you save the left-over cake for them and let them eat it for breakfast).
  • They remind me to be thankful.
  • They find wonder and joy in dirt, water, weeds and inchworms.
  • They are great friends.
  • They run.
  • They dance.
  • They sing.
  • They pray.
  • They are opposites.
  • They are a gift from God.
  • They make me want to be better.
  • They make me seach for answers.
  • They make me trust in God, and seek Him daily.
  • They make me realize how blessed I am and how great my mom is.
  • They make me "Mom."

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BAZINGA (Guest post)

Friday, May 7, 2010

On Jacob's arrival home the kids jumped from my lap, books spilled onto the floor, as their excitement for dad left me chilly and yet more relaxed. I kissed Jacob hello, wrapped the blanket snugly around me and I sank deeper into the couch cushions with heavy eyes.

The guest post to follow is an email account of the events between Jacob and Ethan after my heavy eyes closed for a nap prior to work.

So I get home tonight, still wearing my CT Sci-O dominance "Bazinga" t-shirt.
Actual dialogue to follow.
Ethan: Hey dad.
Me: Hey buddy.
Ethan: Cool shirt!
Me: Thanks. Do you like it?
Ethan: Oh yeah! What does that say?
Me: It says, BAZINGA.
Ethan: BAZINGA!!??? (followed by bellows of laughter)
Me: That's kind of a silly word, huh.
Ethan: (still rolling with laughter) Hey dad! Knock knock.
Me: Who's there?
Ethan: BAZINGA!!! (Followed by laughter to the point of crying on my part)
(Ethan fell over and rolled on the floor still saying bazinga between breaths)

End Guest Post, thank you Jacob.
If you don't know what Bazinga is you should watch The Big Bang Theory sometime (airing Tuesday nights on one of the major networks - I'm not sure which one - we DVR it, and Jacob's in charge). While I don't agree with the scientific-theory of "The Big Bang" this TV show and it's over-emphasis on the quirks of it's scientist-characters makes me laugh out loud most episodes.
Knock Knock
Who's There?
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I want to love salads, I really do
I want to be healthy
I don't want to crave sweets
The trouble all started Wednesday
Cinco de Mayo.
Fiesta planned, and birthday's to celebrate
Of course, no meal and birthday celebration with friends is complete without dessert...and I volunteered
I LOVE to bake
Peach pie (for one friend):
Homemade crust (with real butter, you can make it with lard too, but please do not make pie-crust from something that comes out of a tub or canister)
Fresh peaches, painstakingly peeled and hand sliced, but so worth it
Fresh grated cinnamon, a mixture of dark brown and regular sugar and a touch of flour to help the mixture gel
Funfetti cake, light on the strawberry icing (for the other friend):
I like cake out of a box, it's easy and familiar, just like mom used to make :)
I'm a fan of both Duncan Heinz and Pillsbury, Pillsbury happened to be on sale so we had Pillsbury.

I had eaten frugally all day, my fiesta meal was lettuce, with sirloin and fajita style peppers and onions (no cheese and no sour-cream).
The trade off was getting to eat the peach pie ala mode of course
But then there was left over cake and I had two-pieces of that (small pieces)
And then I had to work all night Thursday and ate a slice of chocolate chip cookie for happy nurses week (because I'm a nurse and I am happy).
On arrival home Friday morning, I had two-slices of cinnamon-sugar toast and washed it down with cinnamon toast crunch.
Then indulged in a burger from BRGR, onion straws and sweet potato fries (two-big thumbs up, 5 stars, whatever restaurants get...I loved this place - Visit it)

And so my Monday through Wednesday afternoon efforts have been sabotaged, by myself. My lack of self-restraint, my rationalization, and my love for food.

It's so hard to love a salad
But I'm trying
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It has been a great week.
This week has contained celebrations, long phone conversations, Mexican food in abundance, E's first and second soccer practice coached by Jacob, a long-walk home after school filled with chatter, running, a new hair do, weight-loss and peach pie.
It has been a week where I can't help but feel amazingly blessed by the people God has placed in and around my life.

My lips spontaneously part and turn upward at the corner and a genuine smile fills my face. I notice the wrinkles around my eyes, but at least the new hair color covers my gray hair. I love giving gifts - gifts of jewelery, of time, of conversation, of food. And I really think I get more out of giving and seeing someone enjoy the gift than the recipient.

My body has gone through stages of soreness this week. Muscles shift from their night time position and my body groans. But it's the kind of pain that reminds you, you worked hard, that you're getting stronger, getting healthier, pushing yourself just enough and that you should keep going.

Each time the strands of my newly-colored and cut hair fall obstinately over my left eye I breathe in the mixture of earthy-pine and citrus blossom. And the texture is smooth like, real butter that's been sitting out on the counter ready to apply to toast, but not greasy.

I miss my husband but it's been a week where I feel like we've really invested time in our kids and in our friends. I'm ready for a date night with him. I'm also ready for our bank account to be overflowing with cash. Alas :)

Life is good!
God is BETTER!
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These things I've learned from you

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Hold your shoulders back
Sit up strait and suck in your tummy
How to cook, and from which Cook-Books to modify a recipie (cause you never make it exactly as written and that's why it's so good!)
Cross your legs, and sit like a lady
Wear a slip
Shave your legs
How to listen, and feel like you've been heard
Just punishment
How to love, unconditionally
Forgive myself, move on
We all make mistakes
How to diet (because sometimes you need something to shake your bad eating habits)
Worship with your whole life
Read the Bible, and pray
How to sing
Feel beautiful
Be brave

I love you mom -- Happy 49th birthday yesterday!
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25-Do's and a few Dont's

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Inspired by and written for a few of my favorite people
And my brief 28 years of life-experience
1. Do - Be the best version of yourself
2. Do - Find the "one" who loves you for who you are
3. Do - Take a chance
4. Don't - Worry
5. Do - Accessorize (at my favorite place)
6. Do - Laugh, out-loud and at yourself
7. Do - Find that perfect pair of jeans, pay ca$h, and wear the knees out of them
8. Do - Forgive yourself, because you can't move on until you do
9. Do - Call your mom on her birthday
10. Don't - Indulge in a Nestle drumstick and three cookies before your 5K workout
11. Do - Exercise till you sweat
12. Do - Sing
13. Do - Listen to that still small voice in your head
14. Do - Trust your sense of direction (unless you're me and have none, then only take directions with Left and Right details)
15. Do - Watch your children sleeping (especially after a hard day)
16. Don't - Go to bed angry
17. Do - Cry, both tears of joy and of sadness
18. Do - Take your parents advice
19. Do - Listen, with an uncluttered mind, without planning your rebuttal
20. Do - Trust
21. Don't - Have a dog in the city unless you are willing to pick up their poop
22. Do - Dance, totally uninhibited (many, no, MOST times this will induce #6)
23. Do - Pray
24. Do - Believe that God will answer your prayers, and sometimes, when He's silent you just have to take a step out in faith and #20 and #23
25. Don't - Lie, to yourself or others
26. Do - Buy her flowers (whoever "her" may be in your life)
27. Do - Remember your friends birthdays, and arrange a babysitter so you can go out to lunch without kids (there will be other days for Chick-Fil-A)
28. Do - Stay close to your family, and let them know how much they mean to you and thank God for blessing you with them
29. Don't - Speak hurtful, thoughtless words...because as soon as you do you'll want to stuff them back in your mouth, and you won't be able to
30. Do - Read the Bible
31. Do - Your best and be content
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Favorite Reflections

  • I've been on a silent journey For a year, I explained the pain and weakness away, it was the gardening or hormones or in my hea...
  • Dear Baby Girl (you're gone) -- You would be five, but your body never was and instead you're just a beautiful soul I don'...
  • The word rolled off her tongue and I was frozen I couldn't have just heard what my brain is telling me I heard Not from her, Beautifu...
  • The house is hurriedly swept, papers stashed, candles that smell of cookies lit, laundry hidden away, dinner inhaled - dishes entombed, and...
  • Being a nurse was always where my heart was set So all the Sunday dinners I missed I can not regret Because caring for others' hurts, ...
  • There's orange shag carpet covering the floor Cards slide across the wooden table as kids make sound effects from behind the couch The...
  • My sweet sisters, You proudly proclaim God as sovereign and Lord and resign to His timing in so much of your life,  But, concer...
  • It's a mindless phrase I pray Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for this day But today A wife woke up to an empty place in her bed ...
  • To all the Mom's  Sacrifice comes easy at first, it starts with your body and then it's your sleep - until you realize it'...
  • I sat on top of a mountain The majesty of creation stretched before me Pairs of eyes gazed into mine With quivering knees A vulnerable h...