Today I am Thankful…

1. That I did not get a teaching job when I was looking; otherwise I would probably be without a job.
2. For chai tea that is loaded with caffeine.
3. I chose to go camping with my children and for my sweet friends that braved it with me.
4. For Treasure Cove Preschool that has cared and loved Brooke since she was 1. They are like family.
5. That I own a good pair of tweezers to pluck out gray nose hairs and black chin hairs that have found my face.(Just keeping it real, people.)
6. That summer is almost here which means we’re closer to going to Colorado. WooHoo!
7. For Red Oak Grill and that the Victoria Lakes Ladies will be going there tonight. Love my neighbors!
8. For a church that truly is a family.
9. For my family: my Dad who is my hero, my sister (and best friend) who celebrated her bday this week, my awesome brother who will celebrate his on Sunday, and my Mom who is the greatest prayer warrior I know.
10. That I FINALLY fit in my skinny jeans thanks to two very good friends who have kept me accountable.

What are YOU thankful for? Bet you have LOTS! :)

Milestones

Turning over, sitting up, crawling, walking, talking, riding a bike, writing your name, reading… all milestones. Some I have pictures of and some I don’t.

There are others that cannot be captured by a picture. Those that include learning to empathize, choosing to share, applying your faith, forgiving someone that has hurt you, forgiving yourself, and so many others that prick the hearts of parents. Moments when you see your children excel in things other than reading, writing, science and math. I’m not minimizing the importance of learning (I was a teacher, remember?) but rather trying to remember those things that are learned through life. Those character lessons that normally come through pain.

I have found that I am becoming more and more like my grandmother. We rarely had the opportunity to visit her (she lived in Washington State) but when we did I noticed that she would tear up about most things. She cried when we hugged her, cried when she shared memories, cried at special occasions, and cried when we said goodbye. I completely understood the goodbye cry. Goodbyes are not my favorite. Lately, though, I find myself crying at milestones… mainly the character building type that I see in my children.

I cried when Kenneth prayed that his friend could forgive him, cried when Brooke shared something that was really important to her with someone else without being told, cried when the kids and I talked about meeting the baby(possibly babies) in Heaven that I lost, and cried when Morgan and I discussed baptism. There are many others (I’m sure my kids would be agreeing with me on that about now… and laughing…).

Maybe it’s that I am learning for the first time to feel my emotions. To realize that it’s OK to be emotional and that “too emotional” should not ever be spoken again. That God made me unique and with a tender heart that feels deeply.

One day my children will hold their children and watch them reach milestones… and they’ll cry or feel that deep twinge in their hearts. And I pray that as they do they’ll remember their Mommy who loved them enough to cry and celebrate their milestones. A Mommy who cared. A Mommy who loved. A Mommy who sacrificed. A Mommy just like my grandmother and my mom :)

Being a Mommy has been the most difficult yet most rewarding job I’ve ever had. God certainly knew what he was doing when he created a Mommy’s heart.

It Can Be Hard

A friend recently asked me how I make it alone with three children. The answer to that question depends on the moment, the day, the week. Sometimes it surprises me that people think it’s so hard. I mean, I do the same things I did before. The same things that any Mom does…. everything….lol. OK, so maybe not everything, but almost 😉

And sometimes the question brings tears, as I literally do not know. There are days I do not want to get out of bed. Days that I am not loveable, not patient, not kind, not a lot of stuff; simply going through the motions, so that I can crawl back into bed. The place that signals the end of another day.

I can say that I do not travel this road alone. Of course the ONE who created me knows what I can handle and I have learned to lean into Him more and more. Then there are those that literally walk WITH me. They let me vent, cry, laugh, be silly, and scream. Those that do not tire of hearing the same stuff and are always available. My family (blessed beyond measure that God allowed me to be the daughter of George and Jackie Burke) and friends who have become family.

Others step in and out and bless me even when they don’t realize they are doing it. Like the Mom who gave my daughter a shirt to tie-dye, because I did not have time to get one. Or the sweet teachers that have kept Brooke after school all year, so that I can work. Those are two examples but I have a large list of blessings that I keep in a journal by my bed. No blessing is taken for granted or forgotten. It’s my “gratitutude list” at the end of the day to remind me of how God is meeting my needs and even some of my wants.

You cannot appreciate how difficult a situation can be until you are the one in it. ANY difficulty. I recently read an article about autism and thought of one sweet friend who is raising two boys with autism. One article could not possibly give me an idea of how hard it is to raise two children with autism, just as one answer could not possibly explain the difficulties that come with being a single Mom.

But I can say that I am blessed. I have joy. I talk to God much more than I did. I do not take for granted the times I spend with my children. I like who I am.  And surprisingly, I like where God has me.