Lost in Motherhood

I truly believe that the ultimate career is motherhood.  We dream as little girls about all of those cute babies, bows, blankies & bottles.  We plan out how many of them we want to have and even go as far as naming them.  Truly… Raising a child is such a gift and such great work!

And there we find ourselves in our 20’s & 30’s with one or two or three or even four or five (believe it or not, this is pretty normal here in the South).  We find ourselves lost in a world of laundry and feedings and a lot of poop and spit up.  We don’t sleep much.  Many days we have no idea how we will survive to the next.  Sometimes it just all blurs together. Throw in some Postpartum Depression and add a little Zoloft to make things better.  It’s just the truth.  Surviving, right?

Ok, but let’s not forget the baby giggles and smiles and the warm cuddles of that sleeping baby on your chest.  The peace that just overwhelms you when you look down at that little one in your arms. The first steps. The first words.  Knowing that God gave YOU to ME.  How could this be?    

Motherhood is quite an interesting journey, isn’t it?  As time goes on and we all grow up, Mommy included, things do get better.  We start to breathe & sleep. We go out with friends, make play dates and even begin to look at and talk to our husbands again!

I promise you that I wouldn’t trade one day of the experience.  One day of the tears, the falls, the sicknesses.  One day of the laughs, the smiles, the achievements.  Not one day. I’m grateful for it all.

But I’ll be honest about something that baffles me.  Why in this process of motherhood, do we lose ourselves?  Why do we forget to live and forget to dream?  I have had so many conversations over the last few years with Moms who don’t have dreams or passions. Their kids are their dreams.  They can’t see beyond it all, even as the babies grow to toddlers, elementary age and beyond.  And it makes me sad.

I believe we have so much to teach our children, but Moms, it begins with us!  How can our children learn to dream themselves when they don’t see their Moms doing that?  

Moms, we are doing good work, but we can do better work if we begin to be an example. Let’s become women that are passionate about something.  Let’s show our kids what it looks like to take care of ourselves! This doesn’t mean go back out into the workforce if you’ve been at home for years raising your family.  This could mean anything – health, fitness, church, a cause.  What are you passionate about?  It’s time to wake up and start living!

I believe we are doing our kids a great disservice by not being an example of how to live bold and passionate lives.  God gives us all passions beyond motherhood.  Let’s use those to teach our kids that they can live bold lives too, for His glory!  

Puppies, Puppies, Everywhere

You know how you love a certain car and you see them everywhere?  It seems crazy, but it just is the way our brain and perception works.  Same thing is happening to me lately, only with Golden Retriever puppies.  They are everywhere.  Jimmy Fallon featured them in his ‘Puppy Bowl’ (which, by the way, they predicted the Super Bowl winner…. that must mean that they are the smartest dogs ever).  And the Subaru commercial.  I mean, could you even take it?  Well, then add my 12 year old daughter, who is currently obsessed with following different Golden’s Instagram pages.  Yes, you read that right.  GOLDENS HAVE INSTAGRAM PAGES.  So they really are everywhere. 

Let me share a little bit of the Golden sweetness with you:

So we aren’t sure when we are getting this puppy, but we are counting down to some mystery date near the end of March.  

Everyone is excited.  Except for Kirby.  To be honest, the only thing that gets Kirby excited is food. And her sister, who gives her food.  And her Aunt Jenny, who also gives her food.  And her Pappy, who used to give her food.  She doesn’t forget. Since she won’t be eating the puppy, she’s bound to just be her grumpy old self.  Darn, I love this old lady.

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We are planning a trip to see these amazing little pups next week during our Winter Break. Stay tuned.  More sweetness (and an angry Bean) to come.  

A Day

It was one of them that just had a mix of about everything.  I laughed hard.  I cried hard too.  I got on my mat for 90 minutes for the stillness.  I had lunch with a friend who listened.  I had an evening filled with special time with my girl.

We all have those days.  

There was some yucky stuff.  But there was good.  A lot of it.  But from here on out guys, it’s just about time to start focusing on the good.  

Sometimes we feel messy because we are emotional beings that live in a messy world.  It’s not that WE are a mess.  But the things around us sometimes are.   I have to find the gratitude in the ability to feel.  To love so much, to care so much, to desire so much that we feel it.  Did you ever think about that?  There was a second where I felt bad for how much I ‘feel’.  And then I got rid of that thought pretty quick because it is truly a gift. Maybe not everyone celebrates it.  Maybe people see it as a weakness.  You know, I actually feel bad for people who deflect their emotions because they somehow perceive them to be something negative.  

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Earlier this week one morning before school, my daughter proclaimed just how ‘happy’ she was to be HERSELF!  What a joy.  She’s ‘Awesome Abbie’, as we’ve called her in the past.  And then later, as she recapped her school day, she had ‘A DAY’.  She told me hurt she was feeling by someone not treating her well.  As she rested her head on the pillow, she told me of someone laughing and someone giggling and someone eye rolling.  Middle school can be brutal, right?  Even though she can say, ‘I’m so happy to be me’, how quickly one can second guess themselves!  And so I reminded her again that she IS awesome and capable and kind. And that people will hurt you.  They just will.  But deep, deep down, at the core of your being, you must always believe you are awesome and that God created for a purpose.  There is something good to celebrate in every day.  And most likely, she will not remember the details of sixth grade. I surely don’t.  

I needed to go back to that reminder myself.  There’s good.  There’s purpose.   

It was a day where I officially knew that things were changing.  Old ways are to become new ways.  At the end of the day, a friend’s message came through. “I regret nothing.”  I focused on the truth of that.  Who could possibly regret one minute of this journey that has led me right to this place?  

Maybe the journey isn’t so much about becoming anything.  Maybe it’s about unbecoming everything that isn’t really you, so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place.

Good is all around.  God is all around.  I see goals and dreams in my head for the first time in a long time. Yes, they look a little different then they did before.  But finally, I have the ability to celebrate that!  

In every single day, there is good and there is purpose.  And I rested my head on the pillow and gave thanks.

Blinded

“I was blind, but now I see.”  John 9:25

Have you ever been in a situation where all of a sudden, God allowed your eyes to be opened wide?  And then you were just FLOODED by truth?  

This has happened to me recently.  God has allowed me to SEE things that I was unable to see before.   Not only that, ever since these promptings have come to my heart, the confirmations have begun appearing all around.  I have heard from people out of the blue that feel the need to pray for me.  I am prompted to have conversations with people who are also feeling the same things.  It can’t be ignored.  The truth.  God is so amazing, guys. 

I had the pleasure this past weekend of listening to a wonderful spiritual and business mentor, Kathrine Lee, at a leadership training.  Kathrine talked about listening to that still, quiet voice.  Listening to God.  How many of us are too busy talking that we never sit and listen?  We are SO wrapped up in our goal, in our journey, in our tasks for the day, that we don’t take the time.  

I have to wonder if maybe He was warning me about certain things all along and I wasn’t listening.  Or maybe I just needed to walk this path and learn at every step and when I was ready for the truth, He was there to present it.

I urge you all to take time to listen to the promptings on your heart.  Pay attention. 

I’ve realized that I put my security & my identity in the wrong place for many years.  

One thing I’ve learned is this:

“The true character of a man is not defined by what he does in front of a crowd, but what he does when no one else is around.”

I feel so blessed to have an amazingly supportive husband, awesome friends and leaders around me that help me every day to become a better version of me – a better wife, a better mom, a better friend, a better business leader, and even a better yogi.  I also feel blessed by the support of my readers, who have been open to my journey, even if you can’t understand it all.  Hey, I don’t understand it all.  But I know when I’m prompted to speak that God has someone in mind that needs to hear what’s on my heart.  And HE is using me to spread this message. 

Peace and love.