If you know me at all you know that I’m completely addicted to Pinterest and could happily spend hours there pinning things. I really truly do follow the links on the pictures and look at original sources. Sometimes. For recipes. Or educational things. You know, school stuff. The other day I came across a link for 10 books to share with tinies. Since it had to do with books and kids you know I had to open it immediately! It was like opening Pandora’s box. The link took me to the website of Sarah Bessey. I went from reading her book lists to her posts on mothering to her posts on spirituality. Have you ever started reading someone’s writing and thought “they get me. they are writing me. how did they get inside my head?” Well, that’s the experience that I was having. I’ve been back to her site on an almost daily basis since discovering it. I want to absorb/memorize every word she’s typed. (I promise I don’t mean this in a stalker-ish SWF type of way!) Anyway, this blog is a bit of a departure from my usual recipe/children’s book format, but hopefully you won’t mind indulging me as I participate in this synchroblog with lots of other amazing women.
One of Sarah’s latest posts is entitled “In which this is saving my life right now.” Apparently the feedback was so overwhelming that she is now doing this link up thing so that we can all share what is saving our life right now.
This definitely got my mind wondering. I’m a preschool teacher so I’m on summer break. I’ve been spending all day everyday with my own tinies, ages 6 and 2.5. This is slightly scary to me as I’m afraid of letting them watch too much tv, not getting them in the sunshine enough, and not knowing the best way to entertain them. I’m afraid of not getting my social butterfly out to fulfill her introverted (and alien to me) need for constant interaction with others. I’m working on this whole discipline thing with the Boy King. He is reminds me of the nursery rhyme about “when he is good he is very, very good, but when he is not he is awful.” He is exuberant, joyful, strong-willed, attached to Mommy, and unfortunately prone to the occasional biting/aggressive streak. I do not know how to stop him. I have researched it. I have prayed about it. I have read some more. I have talked to other moms. There are times when I feel like I am at my wit’s end. In another sphere of my mind I’ve been thinking about nutrition and fitness. I’ve been exercising faithfully, trying to be responsible about what I eat. I haven’t lost weight, but I’ve become stronger. I’m trying to convince myself that the number on the scale isn’t important, fitness is, but that whole worshiping of low numbers on the scale is a hard habit to break. I’m struggling with the disconnect I see between Southern cultural Christianity and how I think the Jesus of the Bible would have lived. Lots of thoughts to muddle the mind if you let them.
So, what is saving me right now?
The precious moments when no one is fussing or fighting. The spontaneous hugs, snuggles, and I love you’s of children who wear their hearts on their sleeves. Children who I love beyond measure. Children who constantly remind me that time is a fleeting thing and that what seem like the insurmountable struggles of today will be mere afterthoughts tomorrow. Looking into their eyes and knowing how much they need me. The Boy King will place one small hand on each side of my cheek and turn my face towards his. He will lean his forehead against mine and look deep into my eyes, then he will lean back his head and LAUGH. My Sweet One will want nothing more than to cuddle because I am the “softest warmest place in the world.” It gets me through the days and makes the tiredness or struggle seem like a small thing.
Communicating with other moms is helping/encouraging me. Whether it’s through reading blogs or carrying on a conversation as our children swirl around us living lives that are loud, brash, and active, hearing from other moms that the road I’m going down is a well worn one is helpful. These life lines of written and spoken words also remind me that the struggles of parenting little ones are fleeting.
I look with fascination at the new muscles forming in my arms and legs. I feel the blood course through my veins as my legs keep pumping and going even when I think “I could stop” during a run. I know that I am stronger. My body has already done the most amazing thing I can imagine by producing two healthy miracles. It carries me through each day. It surprises me with its strength. I won’t abuse it. I will let it keep carrying me through the days, but with an attitude of appreciation, and not derision. I will eat healthy things. But I will also eat the delicious treats that I so love. I will share them with my children, my friends, a language of love written in ingredients mixed together and baked until they are as warm as the love between us. (Is that totally cheesy? Sorry. But not really.)
My husband continually keeps me sane. He is more loving, supportive, and encouraging then I would have ever imagined. I mean, I knew he was my best friend and a good guy when I married him, but 12 years later he has only gotten better. I know without a doubt that he loves me and our children. I trust him. I enjoy spending time with him. His enthusiasm carries me. His determination inspires me. He absorbs my worries, my doubts, and my questions and stays steadfast. And he indulges my lack of love for cooking by letting us go out to eat when I don’t feel like cooking…
Finally, reading gets me through so many things. Whether it’s a fictional escape as I’m immersed in another life or clear cut nonfiction that challenges me or makes me think, reading centers me. Right now the works of bloggers like Sarah Bessey and writers like Donald Miller (among others) are really encouraging to me. I read the things they write and know that I am not alone in questions I have had, reactions to experiences, or even just processing life. I can not tell you how much less alone this makes me feel.
So what’s saving me right now? Appreciating small moments of joy, peace, and happiness. Enjoying the strengths I can offer instead of dwelling on disappointments. The support of a loving husband. Engaging in community (through either written or spoken words.)These are the things that bring me through the day with joy.
So, what’s saving you?