Let the Sunshine In

I spent the last several days surrounded by creativity, youth, and laughter. As much as I hesitated last Friday to embark on a journey way-out-of-my-usual-comfort-zone, I was rewarded beyond belief with gifts of friendship, intellectually stimulating conversation, and connection, accompanied by roller coaster rides and memories of a seemingly distant past brought close again.

Today, I smiled through the usual rush of the morning, helping everyone else on their ways for the day, and then opened the blinds in our family room as preparation for some yoga. I was struck by the beauty of the leaves filling in the space between branches of backyard trees, the fresh smell of rain from last night’s thunderstorm, the understated majesty of lilacs (who once bloomed last in the dooryard). Though the reality of the day is overshadowed by clouds, I am living in a place of gratitude, a place of light.

I am ready for the blessings and challenges today will bring.

My heart is open to let the sunshine in…and let it illuminate–no matter the weather.

🙂

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Apron Strings

I lay resting next to you–
Your heavy eyelids drifting
in and out of dreams
Your fingers wrapped around my
apron strings.
I gently unweave myself from you
tiny bone of my bone
flesh of my flesh
And move the strings out of your grasp
–but I like the way they look
Enclosed in little hands
new skin
fresh from Heaven
I want you to hang onto me forever

How will I know when to let you go?

-Karin Salisbury


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Just Because We Do It…

Life gets crazy sometimes. Some things we can control; other things we cannot. Like, I couldn’t control my little guy waking up early last Saturday morning. He came in my room, full of morning exuberance as I groggily rolled over to check the time on my phone. The glaring white numbers read 5:47.

5:47 a.m.


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On a Saturday.

WHY?

Well, with a packed schedule for the day, I knew that going back to sleep wasn’t an option. (Now, I’m a believer in early morning productivity…just not that early…on a Saturday.) We cuddled in the warmth of the covers and discussed dreams and the lack of school for the day. Eventually, I rolled out of bed to get dressed.

And, I happened to wear heels–these great heels from my friend–with my brown pants and pink tshirt/sweater combo. I was happy with the outfit as a whole and was prepared for a busy day.

(Did I mention I was wearing these great heels?)

So, we were off to two appointments that went well, then to an activity involving doughnuts at church (how could you go wrong with doughnuts?), and out to visit some neighbors. Of course, we also had to drop kiddos off at parties, hit the library and a couple of other errands, and pick up some milk. (Yes, we were on our last gallon…how did that happen?)

As my handsome husband pulled into a parking space at the local grocery store, my feet were throbbing. Screaming. Aching.

UGH.

I asked him if I could just sit in the car. He asked me why I would choose the shoes I wore that day. I told him the reasons (they go with my outfit, I was trying to look professional, I didn’t think I’d be on my feet so much, etc.). I got out of the car and started walking in to the store. He said, “I think you just don’t like going to the grocery store.”

I thought about his statement. (Can I call it an accusation?) I didn’t want to go to the store in that moment. He was accurate about that. But, on “normal” days–whatever those are–do I really hate going to the grocery store?

I followed that train of thought through shopping. Do I hate to shop? No. What about cooking? Do I hate to cook? No. I actually enjoy cooking. Do I hate walking around the store and greeting fellow shoppers? Nope. I like to chat through the store. Hmmmmmm…. What is it, then?

Actually, I hate planning meals. If someone would provide a menu that worked for my schedule each week, then I would happily follow it, buy ingredients, and cook. I do my best with planning, but I don’t enjoy it. I don’t even like it. In fact, I kind of hate it. But I do it anyway.

As part of our conversation, I had this thought: just because we do it doesn’t mean we like it.

Do you like having little people wake up at 5:47 (A.M.!) on a Saturday? Do you like having to form cognitive thoughts that early? Most days I don’t. But I do it. I do it because that’s what I signed up to do when I decided to have children–whether I knew it then or not.

Why?

The bottom line for me is love. I do what I do because I love my family and I want them to feel loved.

Red Love Heart Full HD Wallpaper Wallpaper
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Last night, we had a beautiful meal together. My oldest and I spent the morning in the kitchen preparing a crock pot with roast, potatoes, and carrots (which I picked up, incidentally, at the grocery store on Saturday). We also made a baked dish of macaroni and cheese along with rice. After church, we made gravy from the drippings in the crock pot and also threw together some delicious rolls. We had family dinner together which filled our tummies and our spirits. My kiddos even went back for seconds (which is rare), and the evening which followed went smoothly because our hearts were happy.


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As I put myself out there by planning and preparing a meal that I didn’t really want to plan (I would’ve been okay with having something like frozen pizza), I was blessed with a wonderful evening…and part of me began to like the planning aspect of cooking. (Shhhh…don’t tell anyone!)

What do you do that you don’t like to do? What would have to change for you to like it more?

Letter to My Thirteen-Year-Old Self

Dear Thirteen-year-old Me,

Round out your shoulders. Straighten your back. Go for a run. You life is long ahead of you, and you need all the air you can breathe and all the momentum you can gain.

Stand tall in your shoes. Years from now, a twenty-something musician/salesman in the Apple store will make a tall joke while you are standing in platforms next to your gorgeous husband on your anniversary. You are beautiful. Own it.

You will learn to read faster. Keep trying. The dyslexia you fight with now will be overcome through diligent effort and practice. You can do it. Keep reading.

Study math, too…with a sprinkle of history. When your kiddos are your age, you will need to help them with homework. You may not be willing to study for yourself; still, study for them.

Feed your body with healthy foods–not just Cheez Doodles and chocolate. You really are what you eat.

While you think about feeding your body, remember to feed your spirit. A toddler running around won’t wait for you to find a chapter and verse of scripture to back you up one day. You need to have the word of God written in your heart…always.

Be a good friend. You never know when you might share the only smile a person sees in a day…or a week…or even longer. Whatever friendship you extend will come back to you. I promise.

God loves you for who you are…past, present, and future. Ask for help when you need it. He is there. He will send others who love you to help.

Speak kind words. Anyone can complain. Live higher than that. Look for the good in others–and in yourself, as well.

You are incredible! You will have amazing moments in life filled with joy and pain, laughter and tears, triumph and defeat. Embrace all of it, and you will be better for the living.

Love your body wherever it is on your journey. Your body will take many forms, but love your body through each stage. It houses your spirit and gives you power. Don’t fall prey to the media’s cruel deceptions. Your body is a creation of wonder.

Just keep going. You will be tempted to quit, to give up, to run away from everything. Don’t you dare do it. You have work and writing to do, moments of mothering and friendship to share. You will make it through whatever comes your way, and you will look back years from now and be amazed at what you have accomplished.

Keep dreaming. Your dreams will fuel your passion, goals, and actions. They will bring you energy to continue when life is hard. You really can (& will) do it!!!!

You are stronger than you ever dreamed you could be. Live. Love. Worry less. Feel more. Enjoy being who you are.

With love,

Your much older (and a little bit wiser) You
Karin
🙂

Faith is a Principle of Action

As the mornings get cooler, my love affair with my warm and cozy bed becomes more intense. Recently, after a morning of pressing the “snooze” button one too many times on my alarm (which squished our normal morning routines into about half the time we are used to), I said to one of my daughters, “It took a lot of faith for me to get out of bed this morning.”

I have been taught, “Faith is a principle of action and of power….”

That same morning, my app where I usually do my daily scripture study kept crashing. I tried several times, even moving the app around on my screen, but to no avail. I decided to use an alternate approach through a different app, and I found this video.

It went along with the experience I had earlier that morning, showing that faith is something that requires action. The man in the short film who was healed had to have faith on the words of Jesus Christ, that he would indeed be able to stand, take up his bed, and walk. He had to put faith in Christ and in himself to follow through with and obey (what I find to be basically) a commandment. He put faith and trust in the words and promise of Christ, followed that faith with action, and received power.

I am watching this pattern in my life.

Sometimes, like I said, on cooler mornings, I long for the warmth of my bed. Some days I feel too tired to get up and do the morning rush all over again, day in and day out…but, I have found that as I put my faith in God, seeking to do that work that He would have me do through mothering and loving and living each day (action), I am given strength (power) to move forward (or, on some days, to simply keep going).

How has faith changed you?

You Are Thankful for WHOM Today?

Today, I am thankful for my mother.

She wasn’t the mother I thought I wanted, but she was definitely the mother that I needed.

I thought I wanted the mother who had warm cookies cooling on a cooling rack as I walked in the door from school each afternoon. I thought I wanted the mother who sewed matching dresses (think The Sound of Music minus the drapes). I thought I wanted the mother who took me shopping at the most stylish stores.

Instead, I got a mother who taught me that all people have reasons for being the way they are, and that I could be understanding and accepting, no matter what. I got the mother who, when she was too ill to leave her bed, spent hours on the phone speaking messages of hope and faith to others in similar situations. I got the mother who showed me that faith and family came first, above worldly accolades or any external successes. I got the mother who sang, beautifully and magically. I got the mother who taught me my way around the kitchen, how to load a dishwasher, and how to piece a quilt–skills I am now passing on to another generation.

And I am grateful. I am grateful not only for what she did–but for who she was (and is), and most importantly for the person she has allowed me to be.


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***Remember that you can still join in with 50 Days of Thanks! Check the Facebook event to RSVP!***

Help a Girl Out…

As I’ve been working on spending more quality time in real (face-to-face) communication, conversation, and support of those I love, I have had a few thoughts.  Maybe because I have been thinking of the many awesome women in my life, and maybe because we just celebrated the connections of mothers earlier this month, and maybe because two of my good friends just gave birth to beautiful baby girls…and maybe just cuz I was vacuuming yesterday (and I ponder through the white noise of the little sucking machine that makes my cute rugs look polished)…but I’ve been thinking of how we need to let go of the catty comparisons and the vengeful feelings we have for other women and help each other walk a little taller.

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Could we do that?

I know I’m guilty of judging others and comparing my own weaknesses to others’ strengths.  I look at other women and wonder, “why can’t I (have/look like/be more)_________________ like so-and-so?”  When I give in to such comparisons, I not only degrade myself but I create contention between myself and another woman.  (And, honestly, she may be saying the same thing about me.)  When we live in Judgementland or Comparisonville, we are never at rest or at peace. 😦

Can’t we just enjoy the good in others…and the good in ourselves…and help support other women in our lives?


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In an interaction with a friend recently, she mentioned that she began saying to the little people in her home, “I love everything about you!”  She said that her little people really responded to those words.  Through her example, I wanted to try it.  Of course, I thought to do it on one of the most disruptive mornings lately…and I was feeling frustrated and felt more like saying to my little people, “I see lots of things you need to work on and change.”  Still, I persisted, trying to find a moment to share this with at least one of them….  I do love everything about them–their idiosyncracies along with their personalities and happiness and even the troubles that come as they learn and grow into who they need to be.

I found a moment with my daughter when we were alone in a room, and I leaned toward her ear and softly spoke, “I love everything about you.”


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She seemed dumbstruck.

So, I said it again.  “I love everything about you.”

She looked at me incredulously.  I affirmed my statement while wondering when the last time (if ever) she would’ve felt that she was completely, incomprehensibly, and absolutely loved.  I have decided to share this idea with her more, along with my other children…and even the other women in my life, as many of them struggle (as I do) with feeling worthy, accepted, and loved.

Are you in this boat with us?  And can we work together to stay afloat and reach the shore and live in the cities of Love and Acceptance together…the way we are now.


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