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Monthly Archives: May 2012

Detoured

Detour On my commute home from work yesterday, I came across a detour sign. I wasn’t running late. I had no particular place to be. Yet, I felt totally inconvenienced.  Not only was the detour route ambiguous, but I had not traveled those country roads in ages. The ride home felt like it took twice as long on this new route. I would make a mental note to check for an alternate route for the morning.

This morning I left for work, completely forgetting about the detoured route from yesterday. Imagine my surprise when I, once again, happened upon this same sign. Feeling frustrated with my memory lapse, I trekked along back roads. Something was different this time. The countryside was glistening in the sunlight. Cows were grazing, untempered by time restraints and urgency. I slowed for something that appeared to be crossing the road. Was that a turkey? No wait, could it really be?  I caught a glimpse of its glorious colored plumes as the peacock waddled away from me. It wasn’t long before I came to a familiar main highway. I arrived at work … five minutes early.

Detours are funny things. They are intended to reroute you, but deliver you to the same destination. When one road may be closed, another (or a series of others) may show you more than the original route ever could.

We fall into patterns. The detour sign that ambushed me was posted long before the road was closed … so commuters could prepare. I had driven past this sign for three weeks. Taking the same route every time can make us oblivious to what surrounds us. An alternate route teaches us to be observers, to be connected to our surroundings, to be humbled.

I’m not sure which route I will travel home today, but I do know that it will have much to show me.

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Posted by on May 30, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Grace and Mercy

Grace and mercy … grace and mercy … rinse … repeat.

Some days it’s all I can do to remind myself to be gracious to others who might get under my skin or just make me shake my head in their general direction.

And then there’s me.

I know I get under some folks’ skin. I’m sure people shake their heads at me. In fact, I know they do. And boy do I have my days – just ask my kids!

I’m not quite sure what happens somewhere between “Mother of the Year” and “She’s Gonna Blow!”  but it happened the other night. Somewhere in the piles of crap (a.k.a. papers, books, toys, and laundry literally strewn all over the room) and the stress of the week built up like a soap scum ring on the bathtub, I lost it. I went plum crazy.

There was head shaking, finger pointing, words flying, hands on hips … and two little wide-eyed girls wondering who this wild woman was and when their mother would come back.

And then, there was guilt.

My kids know they need to be responsible for their things. They know they need to tidy up their rooms. They know laundry doesn’t get washed unless it gets to the washing machine. They know it is not my job to clean up after them. Yelling at them is not going to ensure any of that gets accomplished. Sure they got right on it when the crazy woman started flailing her arms and spouting off unintelligible phrases, but that was out of fear (or shock) rather than out of respect and courtesy. And so I sent myself to my room.

And then there was grace.

I’m sure after the first half hour, my kids thought the aliens had taken me back, but then they found me – in my room – crying. They laid with me and comforted me. Me! The one who just went off on them for . . . what was it again? They may not remember what I said, but they will remember how I made them feel. And that made me feel terrible. With tear-streaked faces, they turned to me and said “We still love you.”

And then there was mercy.

And it is because they still love me, even on my short fuse – wild woman – train wreck days, I know we will get through this. Thank God for grace … and for little girls who freely give it – even if undeserved.

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

“Single” Parenting

As a single mother, I often receive comments like:

“I give you so much credit for what you’re doing.”

OR

“I don’t know how you do it all by yourself.”

Here’s the secret: I don’t. I don’t do this alone. I am incredibly blessed to have so much support from family and friends who recognize the challenges I face to get things done everyday, from the mundane to the critical.

It’s the special person who decides to do my dishes, just because.

It’s the sister who emails to tell me I’m doing a great job.

It’s the friend who stops by to mow my lawn while I’m at work.

It’s the work team who understands and respects my commitment to my family.

It’s the couple with two kids of their own who offer to babysit anytime.

It’s the friend who comes to town and never misses a coffee date.

Just this morning, while I am at work, my dad is taking my dog to the vet to have her glucose level checked so I can continue her insulin therapy. He also traded cars with me this morning so he can take mine to the shop and have my windshield checked.

My mom will be picking up my youngest daughter after school and meeting my oldest at the bus stop. They will spend the afternoon with her until I come home from work. We will cook dinner there before we head home to finish homework, clean up, take care of the bearded dragon and our dog, not to mention pack lunches and start laundry.

Then it’s bedtime. This is my most favorite time of the day. I get to lay with each of my daughters individually and talk about their day, read a bedtime story, say our prayers, and cuddle for a bit. It is the best way to end our day.

Some days I forget to pack lunch money . . . but they forgive me.

Some days I forget to clean the fish . . . but they survive.

Some days all the laundry isn’t done . . . but the kids are clothed.

Some days I let the dishes go . . . but the kids are fed.

Some days the kids look disheveled . . . but they are clean and happy.

This is our life – our every day. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I do a lot for my children, but I don’t do this alone. For that, I am forever grateful.

 

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Just Show Up

I love quJust Show Upotes. I find them incredibly inspirational. There is one I recently read on a picture that has been haunting me lately.

“Don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there’s love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.”

It reminds me of the Eleanor Roosevelt quote: “You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

Can I just be real for a moment? I have a deep desire, even a longing, to do something I love, but …

I. AM. SCARED.

Do I believe I can be successful? Yes.
Do I think I can be dedicated to seeing it through? Yes.
Do I worry about details incessantly? Yup.
Do I find it a huge challenge to step out on faith on this one? You betcha.

This is really no different than any challenge we face, is it? It’s a matter of letting go. We have to do our part and sometimes, we have to place the rest in God’s hands. Sometimes we just have to show up. I am still working on that.

 

 
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Posted by on May 9, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Just Remember

I’m one of those people who needs constant reminders. It’s not the little things or the day-to-day milestones that I forget; it’s the bigger picture.

I forget where I am headed.

I forget there is a plan.

I forget to remember.

This week I was reminded by my 7 year old that it doesn’t matter where we are, or how far apart, it’s what we carry in our heart. She slipped me a note the other night. It read:

I love you even when I’m not there . . . but just remember I always love you!

Her gentle reminder was just what I needed. I carry it with me. When I feel overwhelmed or unsure where things are headed, I can pull it out and remember.

I remember I am not alone.

I remember it does work out.

I remember I am loved . . . always.

 

 

 
7 Comments

Posted by on May 2, 2012 in Uncategorized

 
 
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