What if we’re missing the point of “the days are long but the years are short”?

Ever since I became a parent I frequently hear how time flies with kids and how one day I’ll blink and my kids will be moving out, getting married and start having families of their own.

Like when that sweet older mother you ran into at the grocery store, pushing a rather empty cart, looks over at you and your chaotic tribe with adoring eyes. She tells you to enjoy that tantrum in the store because when they’re teenagers you’ll be wishing all you were worried about was teaching them to manage their emotions in aisle six. And if she’s feeling really nostalgic, she’ll go on to explain how when they move out someday, you’ll be wishing for crazy bedtime bribery again.

As she slowly starts pushing her cart down the aisle away from you and your munchkins, she bids you farewell by saying a phrase we hear often as young parents: the days are long but the years are short.

Depending on how overwhelmed you feel in that moment, you may find these words encouraging as you breathe and navigate the tantrum with more ease than before, or you may quietly be ripping that sweet old lady’s head off while trying to wrangle your kid to get in the basket.

Yes, today was a long day for you for sure.

When we hear the phrase the days are long but the years are short, most of us easily get why the days are long. Being at work all day with stressful clients, followed by a frustrating drive to pick up your kids from daycare or school, followed by an evening full of meeting the rest of life’s demands, can make a day seem certainly long. Or maybe your day is filled with the demands of your threenager and newborn and more times than you care to admit, you are just waiting for the day to be over (I feel you!).

But what about the years are short part?

What does the days are long and the years are short really mean? Feeling tired and worn out in motherhood? Read more to explore finding rest in the busy season of motherhood.

I used to think the years flew by because we’re such a busy society always in motion. We live a life where busy is king and productivity is lucrative. Our schedules are filled to the brim with busy from sun up until sun down, and then some. And we’re talking real busy.

You’ve got a presentation to give at the end of the week and after the kids are in bed, you need to stay up late to finalize the details and get up early the next day so you can meet your colleague to go over the project. Or you’ve got a busy day that includes day three of potty training with your toddler, day one of starting solids with your baby, followed by a trip to the library and then the grocery store and probably a quick run to Target for those pull-ups you forgot to buy when you were there yesterday. Or maybe you’ve got a day that includes both of these kinds of busy!

But what if being busy is only part of the short year equation?

Do you ever feel like we’re constantly waiting for that next thing? We all wait and work towards the next big thing in our lives–promotions at work, getting married, having kids, buying houses, new cars, big trips, holiday events, etc. But I’m talking about even waiting for the small things too that fill our calendars–for the weekend because we have plans for the pumpkin patch, or next week you have that dinner date with a friend, or the next week your family is coming up to visit, and then it’s the end of the month and that one bill is finally due you forgot about. Time flies when we’re waiting.

I feel like I am constantly looking ahead. I am always excited (or dreading) for the next future thing that’s coming up on my calendar.

My life feels like it’s constantly in motion whether I’m moving through a busy day or waiting for the next busy event to happen in my life.

This constant motion has my heart continuously reaching for ways to work harder not smarter, to find balance in the chaos, to have peace while still being able to do all the things I need to do (or want to do).

And when those long days are done and I’m lying in bed recapping my day, I let my mind wonder and toy with a new idea: what would it look like to live a life a where the days don’t feel overwhelmingly long and the years feel more lasting than vanishing?

*******

I’ve been getting this subtle itch about the uncertainty of my life lately. It starts when I question my parenting skills a little more than usual. It grows when I feel like I’m not doing enough writing. It overflows when I start comparing my life to others and question if what I’m doing even matters.

Maybe you feel it when you come to a crossroads in your job. Maybe you feel it when all that potty training feels like a waste because your kid is going through a regression. For me, it’s been a small series of events in different areas of my life that are unfolding in ways I did not plan.

When things don’t go according to my plan, I start to wonder if I’m messing up somewhere. I question my ability to lean not on my own understanding. As a recovering control addict, feeling uncertain can feel like a nervous breakdown at times. I’m serious.

The other day I was making my way through our local bookstore. As always, I stopped to peruse the Christian Living section. As I scanned the shelves, I felt bombarded with title after title telling me, no, it felt like shouting, they were shouting at me to to chase slow, to be present over perfect, to find joy in little, to throw out all my possessions because less really is more and so on and on and on and on…

And I love it. My soul eats it up because each of these titles speak to a longing in my heart to somehow find a satisfaction in my life that I am otherwise missing.

And I love these authors. I really do. I own many of those titles. I truly believe God uses writers to extend his truth to his people. Clearly I believe this, otherwise I wouldn’t be up at 5:00 AM writing this very article.

But what if I’m approaching these books with a “fix me” attitude? What if I took that hunger that was oozing from my heart and through my eyes at the book store and shifted it to my time with the Lord? What if I approached the Bible with more of a relationship attitude?

*****

I have this verse above our fireplace that I see every morning when I’m getting around to start the day, and I see it every night when Mike and I catch a quick show on TV.

be still and know

Almost every time I read it, my heart echoes the rest of the verse, “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10 NKJV)

And lately, I feel like God is saying to me, Stop being so busy waiting for the next thing, Gloryanna, and start being uncertain in life, but certain in Me. To be certain in me you have to be still.

To be still means coming back to the foundation of what I know is true of the Lord and the only way I remember his foundation is by reading his word and praying with him.

It means I might have to look at my calendar less. It means I might have to be OK with that potty training regression because seriously, God is with me in that. Maybe it means you might have to accept what you can do within your job and what you can’t, and trust that God is there in the uncertainty of your job.

To know God means being OK with being unsure of what the next step is because we know he is there in the uncertainty.

I wonder if the more I press towards the Lord and the calling he has on my life, then the more life might start to slow down.

I wonder if the more I lay Biblical foundations in my heart, the more I will mature in new ways when the uncertainty comes. I will remember to lean not on my own understanding (or someone else’s) and trust in God first. If we reach for his word first instead of reaching for an answer on our phones, then maybe the days wouldn’t feel so long.

And maybe this constant reaching for his truth as the compass in our lives would make the years more memorable and lasting.

Next time you see that lady in the store and she’s telling you the days are long and the years are short, your eyes will soften and you can say, Thank you.

Because really, she’s just reminded you to be still and know.

Peace,
Glo

Dirty toes and sticky fingers

These past couple of weeks have felt different. I have found myself waking up with an excitement that I haven’t had in a while. An excitement that whispered “I get to wake up Bubby this morning. I get to read with him this morning. I get to snuggle with Sissy this morning. I get to feed her.”

See it’s the get to that’s changed me. It’s not a have to. It’s a get to.

Taking photos these past couple weeks has kept that get to on the forefront of my heart. And it’s aroma has been oh so sweet.

To learn more about this series, read my introduction here.

This means all the photos for this post are mainly of Bubby. Seeing the day to day with him with a different set of lens has been wholesome and endearing.

Recently it’s all been about sticky fingers and dirty feet. We’re in full swing kicking off summer around here. And jumping. Lots of jumping. And the red wagon. Every where we go we GET to take the wagon with us. See what I did there? 😉

If you want to join in on finding grace in the shifting seasons of motherhood, join me over on Instagram with #onlyaseason.

Enjoy the little things. Really really do it.
Peace,
Glo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That one time I left the house with diapers in my back pocket

If I got on my phone right now and scrolled through Facebook or Instagram, I would surely see a handful of posts about motherhood. They would be posts that talk about it being “wine-oclock” already or wearing leggings everyday. Or maybe there would be a funny post about how chasing a toddler is like preparing for a marathon. Those are great and I am definitely on board for not taking myself too seriously in this momlife.

But you know what else I see a lot of AND THINK a lot of? I see a lot of posts about PPD or frustration in motherhood. I see a lot of overwhelming posts about the tough stuff. And I think a lot about how hard it is being a mom. I think about how hard it must be for work away from home moms. How hard it is as a mom at home. I think about how I screw up all the time and worry about how my kids will turn out if I let them eat too much macaroni or watch too much TV.

I get it. We all get it. And I know it’s so so so important for us to keep talking about those things. So please keep talking about them. I know I will.

But as of late God has been working in my little heart with big fears and worries. He’s been opening my eyes to the joy I experience from the day to day instead of constantly thinking about the hard stuff. It’s not about trying to make the hard stuff go away by ignoring it. It’s about seeing the good stuff more and more so the hard stuff gets smaller and smaller in my head.

As someone who had her share of PPD with her first born and is now navigating two under two, I need those worries and visions to get smaller and smaller.

And it all started when I walked out of the house with two different diapers stuck in my back pockets. Yep. One for Sis and one for Bubby. Didn’t have enough hands so I stuck them back there to put in the diaper bag and forgot about them.

 

And you know what I realized? I laugh more in a day than I ever used to.

 

I do some of the wildest things (no not sky diving wild) but wild like going pee, while breastfeeding a newborn AND reading to my toddler at the same time.

I am the master multitasker.

You moms out there, we are some of the funnest people around. My toddler laughs every time I make fart sounds. My husband might laugh at this too but that’s besides the point.

I’ve got the best audience on a daily basis that brings me the most laughs.

Of course there are rough days. I wrote a post once to the weary mom. But not this post. This post is to the crazy and fun things I’ve done as a mom that I plan to remember on the rough days. It’s as cliche as I’ll get out. I’m talking about choosing to see the positive in my day to day and these are just to name a few.

It can be hard to be joyful as a mom. Today I'm talking about choosing joy as a mom and enjoying the positive on a daily basis. Read for more. That time I left with two diapers in my back pocket.

 

I’ve changed 4 diapers within 30 minutes. That’s got to be like a pound of poop or something. Some kind of record, right? Right?!?! And let me tell yah, my audience was not happy about all the poopy diapers. One was miserable because she was poopy while the other was horrified at having to change the poop. It was hilarious–all the crying, all the poop. Seriously. Laughing was the best response. Feel me?

I’ve made homemade brownie batter just to eat by myself when the tiny people were napping at the same time. I like to call my batter creation “Heaven in a Bowl.” It’s so good. And eating while they’re napping is an incredible little treat. I can’t do it all the time but it happens every once in a while when I need a chocolate fix.

I have crawled in the crib with my son and let him watch Elmo so I could take a 20 min power nap. I am a genius. And oh the snuggles I get while we do this. It really is something I wish I could bottle up and save for the tough days.

 

 

It’s when I buy 12 pairs of cute PJs for my son so 1) I don’t have to wash them as often and 2) they double as his clothes for the day. And then I wear my PJ’s all day too. See how that works? Although you gotta watch the PJ one. It can backfire. Being in my PJ’s all day can bring about some depression.

I totally let my dogs eat the toddler’s spilled food off the floor. Bwahahaha! I think the positive from this is pretty obvious.

Hygiene care has become hysterical. Dry shampoo is my BFF. I can’t even remember the last time I shaved with a razor and water. If my husband only knew what has become of his electric shaver… If you add up the time I would normally spend shaving my legs with water and soap vs the quick way with an electric one, well I just know I got back many more days in my life.

I’ve eaten leftover macaroni from lunch. I ate it at night. After my son was in bed. From the pan. The pan that got left on the stove all day. It was so so good. Not gonna lie. Having a toddler gives me an excuse to eat macaroni.

Speaking of yummy food, I’ve eaten more puffs than I’d care to admit. Those sweet potato ones are YUM.

I’ve used my toddler’s diaper as a pad before. That’s all I’m gonna say.

I don’t think I need to explain the positive in this situation. It saved me is all.

 

 

I know all the words to Elmo’s Song. Which means I can sing it whenever I need to cheer up my son or get him to quit squirming while I’m changing his diaper. I’m thinking the positive in this is that he could be in love with a much more annoying song. 

Speaking of Elmo, one time it was like I was outside my body and saw my current situation. Elmo and a human foot were waving bye to me from the tv while I was breastfeeding and writing on my phone with one hand.

 

Like I said, master multitasker.

The thing is some of this stuff seems crazy to people but when you get with another mom and start talking about this fun weird stuff you do as a mom, it all makes sense.

It’s easy to go down the negative weary path and I absolutely believe there is a season to explore those hard moments as a mom (hello? have you read my motherhood posts before?) but for me, for right now, I’m looking at the positive. I’m choosing the positive. Especially when I totally forget about those diapers in my back pocket. You gotta laugh at that. 😉

Won’t you join me?

Peace,

Glo

What I’ve Learned from Spring 2017

This spring was full of a lot of new for me. A newborn. A new season of writing. A new understanding of myself.

Here are ten things I’ve learned this spring. The list is in no particular order. Let’s just say it’s an ongoing list… 🙂 I got the idea from Emily P. Freeman as she and other writers are writing about what they’ve learned this spring.

I like being reflective and sometimes it’s good to look back without being super evaluative too. This list is just what I needed.

1| Being Present with a Newborn and Toddler is incredibly hard.

Eleanor has brought a light into our home that feels so complete and right. Having a newborn has forced me to slow down as much as one can with a toddler running around. The transition was hard before she even arrived actually. Saying goodbye to being a parent of one was a challenge for me. BUT I’ve appreciated the quiet moments I get to have with her (rare as they are!) and seriously, these hands. Oh. My. Heart.

2| Facebook Fasting is good for the soul. Or how about Facebook Feasting is hard for the soul.

This is obvious to most of us but Facebook is such a drain for me. I can waste sooooo much time on it. I’ve discovered a few ways to fast from Facebook. I’ll write about it soon but right now know I have had to separate myself from my phone a lot in order to accomplish this. Like upstairs in bedroom while I’m downstairs separate.

3| Taking pictures of the mundane can produce gratitude and contentment.

A new practice I’ve been trying is taking more photos with my camera and my phone (when I have it). Not staged photos, but photos of the everyday. I talk more about why I’m choosing this practice here. The result has been overwhelmingly positive. There’s something about seeing my son’s toes up close that reminds me of how fleeting his boyhood will be. I just want to bask in the mundane so I can fill up on gratitude and contentment.

4| I need to prepare salads ahead of time to actually eat them.

This isn’t some food fix. This is just me realizing that if I want to progress with losing my baby weight and I need to do a little bit of preparing. I like planning and seeing something through anyways, so putting my salads in containers so I can just pull them out of the fridge has been a life saver. Especially with that toddler running around me while I’m holding my newborn. 😉

5| Giving myself grace is hard. Giving my husband grace is hard.

Speaking of losing weight, giving myself grace about losing the weight is a daily decision. Yes, I want to look like my old self, but I do want to be healthy. I definitely got into some unhealthy habits while pregnant with Sister so getting over that has been hard. And since we’re talking about grace, realizing that this is the first time my husband has had a toddler and newborn too is a daily decision also. We had a groove going so well with just one kid that at times we felt like roommates, but having the two under two years old has been a new grace journey for sure. Enough said.

 

6| Sabbath rest is vital to keeping balance in my relationship with Christ.

I really need to just write a post on this. I absolutely LOVE Shelly Miller’s book Rhythms of Rest. It’s not about rules or should do’s. It’s about real relationship and what that looks like in forms of rest. And it most likely wont look like what you think it should.

Check out other writers over on Emily’s site as they talk more about this spring!
Peace,
Glo

Can taking pictures with my phone bring gratitude?

I seriously tend to cringe when I hear about “themed” days for bloggers. I think part of it is because I always struggled finding one I liked and could stick with. And honestly, I’m not even sure “Thankful Thursdays” is a thing but it’s going to be my thing.

I got the idea from Ann Voskamp actually. In her book One Thousand Gifts, she talks about how taking everyday, mundane, nothing new photos changed her perspective on gratitude and opened her eyes to all she had to be grateful for.

Sister turned two months. Oh those toes.

It’s not about sharing it on social media all the time (though that isn’t necessarily a bad thing) but it’s about perspective and focus in my day to day.

I’m not saying every moment needs to be remembered with a photo because I’m a strong believer in being present in the moment. But I also believe that contentment starts with gratitude and my daily attitude can change with being thankful more often.

Plus, I felt the Lord laying this on my heart for my own benefit. Who knows if anyone will be paying attention as this doesn’t seem like a post series that will grab a lot of attention but it’s really about me.

Writing and taking photos just for me.

Speaking of toes, here’s Bubby’s toes at 10 months. Oh my heart.

I wont be doing it every Thursday. I don’t know how many photos will be in each post. I don’t know how long I’ll do it for.

I do know this is a small journey God has called me to and maybe it will encourage someone along the way to open their eyes to the daily mundane that reminds us of what we have and the contentment that only comes from the Lord.

I have some photos for the introduction because I started taking them daily a month ago.

Part of our daily ritual is snack time at Bubby’s table. That photo in the background was from my mom to my husband a few years back. It hung in our kitchen growing up.

 

Because cooking with Mama is the best.

 

My mother’s mother, aunt, and grandma grew peonies. They had a big section that was essentially a peony field. I always think of them when I see or smell peonies.

 

The past, present and future all in one.

We’ll see you next time folks.

Peace,
Glo

Saying Goodbye to Being a Parent of One

I never thought I would be sad to welcome our second child.

I used to think I would have only one child. Scratch that. I used to think we’d never have any children. I used to think I’d be a teacher forever and that was good enough. And here I am a mom of a toddler boy with our second, a girl, due in a few weeks.

And I can’t imagine life any other way.

 

Seriously, I cannot fathom my life without our little family. I never thought it would be possible for me to love someone so much as I love my son and our future daughter. I love my husband and we choose each other every day, but it’s a different bond God creates.

The bond I have with my son is a different world.

That face in the morning when I get him from his room. The immediate energy bursting through as he is jumping on his bed at the crack of dawn. The exuberance when running across the kitchen to tackle one of the dogs. He is big emotions and they captivate me every single day.

 

And in those quiet moments when we watch Charlotte’s Web for the bazillionth time, and he lets me hold his hand, I can’t help but soak it in. I can’t help but feel a swelling sense of privilege to be his mother.

Sometimes I think God created the seasons of parenthood as a means for us to grasp a tiny bit of what His love is like for us.

I never understood what other parents meant when they said it’s a privilege to raise children.

Until now.

And as I commit these special and chaotic moments to memory, I am washed over with a bittersweet twinge in my heart. The kicking in my swelling womb reminds me that our world is about to change even more.

The afternoons of a quiet snack and movie with mom, with just the two of us, will be three.

I think of the specialness that comes with the first child. The firsts for everything.

I remember those long nights when I thought I might go insane from lack of sleep. I remember crying with him as I held him close in my arms because I didn’t know what to do for him. I remember the explosive poops on the changing table. I remember the first laugh. The first roll. The first crawl. The first five hours of straight sleep.

All those firsts that made me feel like a light was shining through me as joy burst from my heart. We had done it. We survived.

My son, these first two years with you have been a privilege. The joy and the challenges that came from taking care of you brought me closer to Christ and are forever etched in my heart.

 

Keep My Eyes to Serve, My Hands to Learn

Keep the earth below my feet

For all my sweat, my blood runs weak
Let me learn from where I have been
Keep my eyes to serve and my hands to learn
Keep my eyes to serve and my hands to learn”
                –Mumford and Sons “Below My Feet”

Rolling over in bed, my eyes squinting open, I can see it’s still dark out. I inhale my husband’s soapy, snuggly morning scent, leftover from his shower the night before. I lightly kiss his shoulder and lean to turn off his alarm. I slide out of bed and a new smell dances along my upper lip as my coffee brewing downstairs beckons me. I’m careful not to step on any toys my carefree toddler has left strewn about our house. A chill runs down my spine as I mindlessly turn our air back up. Without a second thought, I search our fridge, bursting with food, and grab the eggs, juice, butter, and fresh fruit to make an easy, bountiful breakfast.

While pouring my cup of coffee, I can’t help but think of the events from the night before. It was after 10:00 at night and I could hear the little girl crying. The frustrated mother trying to console her as not to wake her teenage son who needed to go to school the next day. Five other families were trying to sleep that night as well.  I slept on a cot that night. A cot I was quick to curse for being incredibly uncomfortable. Oblivious to what was surely running through the minds of the conjoining families. I imagine they had thoughts I have never had to think about in my life. Worries about keeping their job to feed their family. Wondering if their youngest was starting to get sick, causing a trip to the doctor’s office that they couldn’t afford. I was cursing my bed that night while they were finding comfort in sleeping in a safe place. That frustrated mother of her two year old had never been more thankful to be rocking her little to sleep in a room with air conditioning. Knowing that she would be able to have a cup of coffee the next day and a guaranteed way to get her kids to school the next morning. That night waned on in a slow trudge for me, while going too fast for those families. I could hear the little girl’s cries carry down the hall.

And I kept hearing that little girl cry. I could hear her this morning as I am back in my home, carelessly pouring my cup of coffee, with more than enough food, not worried at all about doctor’s visits. Passing the day, without a worry about the general stability of a life filled with a husband and a blessed job, a healthy toddler, electricity, food, water, and a home I call my own.

You see a couple of weeks ago I signed up to be an overnight host at my church for our local Family Promise (FP). A few days ago, I had the privilege of just existing for these people. They didn’t need anything from me really. Just my presence so they could all stay in our church for a night of safety.

If you don’t know anything about FP, then I highly encourage you to check out your community to see if they have facilities there so you can get involved. These families that were staying at my church for the week are homeless, struggling to hold a job, struggling to feed their families, struggling to live a life I have lived so carelessly. Even now as I type this, I can’t help but heave a heavy heart for the people who need help in this life. People right in my own town. People I surely pass on the street while I’m yelling at my iPod in my car as they are walking down the street with their kids, hoping to catch the bus on time to make it to their temporary home for the week they have found through Family Promise.

I keep hearing that little girl cry as she calls to me. I see the young man’s smile again, grateful for a hot cup of coffee to start his day. I keep replaying the teenage boy’s story about how his mom and sister are never back before 10:00 at night because his mom finally found a job. All their fears behind their eyes, reaching out to me, calling for help.

And as I take my coffee in my own cozy home the next day, their eyes remind me of what I am grateful for. I am grateful for my home. I am grateful for a husband who warms my bed at night. I am grateful that I have a car to take my son to his doctor’s appointment. I am grateful for a fridge full of food.

I am grateful for these daily necessities that I so easily take for granted.

I am grateful for these daily necessities that I so easily take for granted.

I am grateful for these daily necessities that I so easily take for granted.

Everyone has a story. Things are not always what they seem. We have so many trials and tests in this life that bring to the surface who we really are deep down. But who am I when I am walking at the top of the trial? Who am I when I am walking through life on a high? Who am I when I can go to bed at night generally content?

I want to be grateful. I want to be grateful during the times I so easily forget to be.

I want to remember that God is a God of a woman with a roof over her head and the God of a woman who needs a roof for her family.

I need to remember that God sees that little girl crying in the night and God is holding her alongside her mother because of His incomprehensible love. God is holding her because a girl down the hallway volunteered to spend the night in a building, just to be present, so this family could have a night of safety.

What about you? What are you grateful for?

 

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People Are Awesome….So Why Do We Focus on the Bad?

I wrote a post not too long ago that many of you enjoyed because you were reminded of good people that you see frequently who work in the fast food industry. (If you missed People Are Awesome #tacobell, check it out!)

With the chaos that continues to go on in our world today, I am reminded of people who are awesome in our world. What? How could I be reminded if all we see is the evil in the world? It was something simple. Someone in the online world chose to highlight a positive experience from their day and share with others. I was surfing through my local Facebook group for buy, sell, and trade and I found a neat post by a woman who was thanking the stranger (in our town!) who helped her when she was feeling like a tired, overdone mom! I started scrolling through the comments and many were praising her reminder that there ARE good people in the world.

People don’t always make bad decisions. People can go out of their way to help someone out as they see them in the grocery store. There are neighbors who stop by to talk with you when you’re grieving the loss of your  mother. There is the car in front of you at Starbucks who pays for your coffee. That lady who helped the other mom load her car as her four children were running around her like little munchkins. The kind word from a stranger about your awesome shoes.

So why is it we get so easily focused and wrapped up in the negative?

Why is it when I ask you to remember the last time someone “crossed” you or was rude to you, you can easily remember that time at the movies, but when I ask you if you can remember when a stranger was kind to you, your mind goes blank? Why is negative such a party and positive is such a party pooper?

A few Sundays back, our pastor at church mentioned that some years ago, a local news channel wanted to showcase only positive stories. They were going to bring to the state and local areas only stories that would encourage civilians. Guess what happened to that news show? It lasted only four months! I don’t have the answers to all the “why’s” for us humans in wanting to hear all the drama in the world, but I do know that I am surrounded by a lot of positive people in my town, in my daily routines and stores and errands. I want to focus on them. I want to appreciate that good stuff.

I want to see others how God sees them. Not only that, but I want to love others how God loves them.

Obviously we can’t walk around with our head in the sand. We need to know what’s going on so we can respond when the time is right. Non-violent protests should happen. Petitions can accomplish much. Social awareness has its place in our lives. But when I live in a world that tends to focus on the negative, well, I want to counter that with the positive that I see in the world. I NEED to.

Yes, there is so much bad in the world and so much sadness. But the stranger at the park who helps the little boy after he fell or the group of teenagers who decided to raise money to feed kids in the inner city–THOSE ARE THE PEOPLE that help us breathe everyday. I already know what kind of people drain my energy everyday. God help me.

Who knows, maybe I will write more about how people are awesome. Maybe it will only last for four months!

No, it will last longer. Why? Because I choose it. What about you? How will you choose to see the world?

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People Are Awesome #tacobell

This guy had been with Taco Bell for about two years. He worked on the line making the food, moved to the window and eventually became a shift manager. His small frame, tattoos, and what I would guess piercings, made him the stereotypical “punk.” Except he was about thirty years old and I don’t know about you, but as an 8th grade teacher, I have a hard time calling a grown man “punk.” I tend to think of hot-headed, mid-puberty teenage boys as punks. This guy had a sharp-sounding voice and easily commanded the attention of the workers at Taco Bell. Not so much like an 8th grade boy.

You see, my husband is a Mt. Dew addict and this Mt. Dew HAS to come from the Taco Bell that is about two miles from our house. Seriously, it’s a straight shot and my husband loooooveesss going there to grab his drink. It’s like the rest of us and our Starbuck’s addiction. Unfortunately, when I was pregnant with Asher, I became addicted to Taco Bell’s Gordita Crunch (I don’t know what my excuse is now!) and we got to know this “adult punk” pretty well. So, when you’re seeing this guy about two times a week (OK, 3-4 times a week, especially during the 2nd trimester!! I know, I know.) you start to talk and get to know these awesome people who work in the life of fast food.

Turns out he had two daughters, a woman he’d been with off and on to have two daughters with, and was working full time to support them, all the while trying to finish up getting his high school degree. As I got to know Matt (let’s call him Matt for privacy sake), I started to realize that this guy would give me the shirt off his back if I needed it. Matt was a hard worker who was doing what he needed to do to provide the way he could for his family. I don’t know about you, but when I typically go through a fast food restaurant, I tend to glaze over the workers and forget that they are real.

Fast food is well, FAST. The whole goal of these places is to get you in and out without even a moment’s notice of the hard workers behind all the fast. Have you ever thought about some of the crazy skills these people are either developing or honing when it comes to working at McDonald’s? The multitasking. The agility of flipping a hamburger while quickly reading the screen and wrapping a special order, all the while preparing for the next item on the order screen. My husband, who is an engineer, would absolutely struggle in this environment.

So as I got to know Matt throughout our pregnancy with Asher, I started paying attention to people behind the counter. I started reading their name tags and saying hello to them by name. And you know what started happening? The more we went in there, the more they started to get to know us and talk to us about our new beginning with our little family. The folks at Taco Bell started becoming pretty cool.

Of course, Mike loved this. I probably shouldn’t tell you this because the crazy Taco Bell people might come down on us through the NSA or something, but I can’t count the times Mike would get a free drink. I felt like Taco Bell became our Cheers. The kindness came to a peak after Asher was born. 

We planned to take Asher to TB (that’s what we call it in our house) to show him off, especially to Matt who had a soft spot in our heart. Mike had said we would by later in the week. You know what those awesome people who work many hours to meet other folks’ needs at Taco Bell did for us?

They rallied a bag of baby clothes and items to give us for Asher. It was one of the sweetest gifts we received.

I don’t always think to say hello to folks when I am getting lunch at Arby’s. I don’t always make eye contact with the multitasking queen behind the register. But I try. I try to notice people in the workforce more often. People who are doing a service for me. People who are working the grind to buy that first car. People who are happy to have their first job. People who are looking for extra money to help with their retirement. People who we probably don’t always consider hard workers, which is really unfortunate. Yes, there are always the teenagers who need to grow up and the lady who is skating by, but I don’t want to define everyone by a certain someone.

That’s why it is worth it to say hello using their name and acknowledging the service they are doing for you. You never know where that hello will take you. 

What about about you? Do you try to acknowledge people in the service industry? How do you do it? What stops you from doing it? Let us know in the comments below!

Peace,
Glo

Some of us blogging buddies are committed to writing more weekly on our blogs! We have a variety of topics we’ll be writing about! To check out these lovely ladies and where their writing is taking them, click on their blog links below! And as always, tip your waters.
Aimme at mamacentric.com
Abbie at grumblinggrace.com
Emily at emilyfisk.com
Harmony at mywanderingheartsong.wordpress.com

peopleareawesome

 

 

Mommy’s Little Hero

I’m huffing and puffing, walking up the stairs, trying to carry this squirmy little dude on my hip while balancing a basket of laundry on the other. Asher is laughing and giggling while trying to see how hard he can kick his legs around before mommy drops the basket. Socks are toppling over the edge of heaping clothes, oozing out the sides of my basket. Oozing because Mike’s socks stink people. If you want to see a fun balancing act, watch a mom carrying her kid and a huge basket through a baby gate at the top of the stars, all the while a 70 lb freight train we call our dog, charging up the stairs. I sort of feel like this is my life lately. I am constantly going up and down. Overloading myself. Trying to get everything done.

I’ve come to realize that if I don’t watch myself, I can pretty much feel like this Every. Stinking. Day. The frazzled feelings. The not enough shaming. The mom judging. The days that get foggy.

Asher is all sorts of pre-toddler these days and I can see the challenges arising.

I worry that I won’t be enough.

Days can be hard as a mom. 

bestisenough

As I’m sitting there trying to fold our laundry, Asher cruises on over to see what this is all about. Laundry has become his favorite new entertainment. Take the clothes out. Put them back in. Laugh about it. Take the clothes out. Shake them all about. Giggle. Hand mommy her clothes. Yank them back out of mommy’s hand. Laugh about it.

No joke. I had been sitting there working myself into what could have been a good o’l pity party, that would have ended with some comfort eating I’m sure, because that’s what I do sometimes, BUT as many times before, this little guy brings me back.

He brings me back to focus.

What can seem so mundane becomes an adventure.

 

We laugh together.

I remember how lucky I am.

I’m sure the worry will come back. The nag never seems to go away.

But it’s moments like these I need to keep her at bay.

I hear parents say a lot about how they can’t believe they are parents. The unbelief in the privilege they have of raising a family. I can’t say that comment always resonates with me until I start to worry about not being enough for my family. Then it all starts to make sense.

I choose happiness. I choose gratitude. I trust I am enough. I trust that God will continue to guide my heart as I hold my son’s hand. Really, he is leading me. Leading me deeper into my relationship with God. Growing my heart in ways I never knew.

I trust that he will know someday when he looks back that his mama loved him and in the midst of doing laundry, my heart was overflowing with gratitude for the joy he has brought to my life.

mommyhero