Monthly Archives: August 2013

When it Rains it Pours

Have you ever wondered why bad things happen all at once? Why trouble comes in threes? Or why-  when it rains it pours?

Does it really?

I must say I’m sure feeling like it right now. Between sending the kid off to college, soccer tryouts, an aging dog, a big event at work – I feel like it’s definitely pouring. It just builds to the point where I just want to run away…just for a little while to catch my breath.

But I have to wonder. Do bad things really all happen at once? Or do I just see everything through a negative filter when something goes wrong? Have we simply conditioned ourselves to look for similar things? When one thing happens we are anxiously anticipating the next and make things worse than they really are? Is it all in how we frame what we see? Isn’t there an equal amount of good happening at the same time? We are so focused on the problem that we don’t notice the good.

Knowing that, how could I re-frame all these separate situations to find the rainbow? How do I go about shifting my perspective or changing the filter?

I think it requires being very intentional. That’s good for me since my word for the year is intention:)!

For me, it’s about…

  • stopping myself when I’m about to run down the list of all the bad things that have happened.
  • trying to step out of the situation and gain some perspective.
  • adapting to the challenge presented and embracing the chance to find the not-so-obvious positive.
  • talking it through with a friend to gain perspective.
  • praying for peace with whatever is happening.
  • remembering that in 48 hours this will feel very different!
  • and if all that fails…..having a good cry so I can move on!

This time of year seems to be hard for so many of my friends. Lots of Moms struggling with separation, worried about what their kids are going through, new jobs and routines. It can be a bit overwhelming. I think it’s fair to acknowledge sometimes it’s just hard. Give yourself some grace, try some of these tactics. This too shall pass, but if we can shift our perspective we might get through it a little more quickly.

Hope your week is filled with a shower of positive 🙂 !

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Filed under Advice, Family, Intention, Parenting, Positive

3 Awesome Things – about back to school

Today Oldest Son goes back to school. This time last year I was a blubbering mess! For real. Like sobbing. What a difference a year makes:). No sobbing today. This marks the day all the kids are back in school. So, I thought it would be fitting to have 3 Awesome Things about Back to School.

  1. Changes in Routines– I love to mix it up! I really do and back to school definitely brings that about. We all get up earlier, go to be earlier (mostly) and keep somewhat consistent schedules. I’m as ready for that as I am for the carefree schedules of summer come May. I would probably have to qualify it as loving predictable change – like the seasons, school year, holidays, wardrobes, menus. Not the big scary changes like jobs, family moving away, or new rules I can’t control. Nope, don’t want that kind of change. I’ll just take my happy, predictable change.
  2. School Supplies – I love them all! I want to buy a bunch of pencils and sharpen them really sharp! ‘Cause we all know a sharp pencil is a sign of a sharp mind! And notebooks. I love crisp new notebooks without those wavy pages they get when you drip water on them. Or the ones where people have torn parts of pages out. No, don’t like that kind. Or when there are lists and phone numbers, and reminders all over a page. Don’t like that! That’s why I love brand new notebooks. They are clean and neat and orderly. I like that. And I like pens. Really good, medium point, pens with nice grips. I have a lovely blue pen at work. I’ve had it for nearly 7 years. {True confession: it came with me from my last job, at the church! I wasn’t trying to steal, but after reading all the questionnaires about workplace theft, I don’t know. It is just a papermate pen. Does that make me a thief?} My co-workers all know about my blue pen. I will hunt you down if you happen to walk off with my blue pen – how else would I have held on to a papermate pen for 7 years?!
  3. Marching Band – I love listening to the marching band play! It just gets me excited! The drums doing their cadences so loudly your chest thumps. The kids all working together. I just love listening to them. And watching the shows progress each week! So very cool. I was not in marching band. I, graciously gave our high school band the pleasure of not having me play. I don’t have a musical cell in my body {I hear I might get that from my Uncle Denny}, but I love listening to others make beautiful music. So glad my kids got that gene from their dad!

That’s it. 3 Awesome Things about back to school; changes in routines, school supplies and marching band!

What are your 3 Awesome Things about back to school?

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Filed under 3 Awesome Things, Organization, School

3 Awesome Things

I’m in a bit of a funk. Feeling unsettled, out of sync, just kind of ughish. (Ya, I just made that word up.) It happens. And I’m working my way out of it. It may have to do with the end of the summer being here. Or the anticipation of sending Oldest Son back to college. Maybe it is the valley after some mountaintop experiences. Whatever the cause, I’m ready to move beyond it!

As I was thinking about it (something my Middle Brother says I do way too much of) I was reminded of the need to fill my head with positive thoughts. I am a big believer in mind over matter. I know we control much of what happens in our lives by the way we think about, respond to and remember events. It is really easy to take yourself down a dreary path of self-doubt or second guessing.

My solution:

Awesome Things!

I’m starting a new weekly post called Three Awesome Things! I’ll pick a topic each week and share Three Awesome Things! Maybe you even have some suggestions for me?! Let me hear them! I’ll do my best:). Let’s fill our heads with awesomeness!

But you’ll have to wait for tomorrow for this week’s Three Awesome Things! Oh, the anticipation!!!

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Filed under 3 Awesome Things, Lifestyle, Positive

God Doesn’t Have Grandchildren

Last weekend I spent a few days on my brother’s farm in North Iowa with 70+ cousins, aunts, uncles, cousins’ kids and siblings. It was an amazing weekend for me. I truly enjoy spending time with these people. The shared history is a part of it, but there’s more. I actually connect with these people. They get me. And I get them. I really wish we spent more time together.

We rented a bus to tour all the places our grandparents lived in North Iowa. It was surreal to be standing on the foundation of the farm-house where my mother grew up and doing a reenactment with a few cousins of picture of us from nearly 40 years ago. {My cousin Carolyn blogged about it here.} We played ridiculous games {think panty hose on our heads, pretzels in our mouths and water balloons on our laps} and ate lots of great food. We reminisced about our memories of our grandparents, our parents shared memories of their childhood and we laughed at the really bad hairdos had by all.

Woven throughout the weekend was much conversation about the amazing example our grandparents set for us. They were married 50+ years when grandpa passed away. And they loved each other til the end. As I scanned 80+ years of pictures I noticed that they were always holding hands. They loved each other and they weren’t afraid to show it. And the stories that were shared about their faith were inspiring. The steadfastness of their belief in Jesus as their Savior, the many recollections of how their prayers brought the very presence of God into the room, the memories of them reading their Bibles every day. All testaments to the strong tradition of faith from which I come.

We ended the weekend with a worship service in the machine shed with the rain pouring down on the tin roof. Family sharing their gifts of music and understanding the Word. It was a moving experience for me. Worshiping God in a room full of people I love with all my heart. Amazing. But the thing that convicted my heart deeply was something my Aunt Vel said.

God doesn’t have grandchildren.

We are all children of God. And we are saved by grace. But we can’t ride on the faith coattails of our grandparents. Our faith must be our own. Without having a personal relationship with my God, I’m missing the point. Coming from such a tradition of faith may give me a head start; knowing the steps and having the example. But each of us must make the journey for ourselves.

I know I fall short of this. At times I lose sight of what’s important and get my priorities a little out of whack. God knows too. And He knows my heart. I feel blessed and convicted by a family who loves me unconditionally and is not afraid to hold me accountable.

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Filed under Faith, Family, Intention, Legacy

Another Senior Year Commences

It’s hard to believe. Middle Son is a high school senior. Today he begins his last year of high school.

I thought it would be easier the second time around. Knowing what to expect, what’s in store for me.

I think it’s just like having babies though. I was sure the second delivery would be half the length of the first – that’s what they tell you.

{Don’t believe that! It’s dangerous. When you pass the half way point, labor becomes much harder. Like it’s all added work you weren’t expecting! You were supposed to be done by now. This isn’t fair!}

Senior year round two shouldn’t be like that…should it? I’ve been through this before. I know the ropes, I’ve learned a thing or two. I can anticipate and sidestep some of the mistakes I made the first time around.

But the part of senior year that is so hard is the anticipation. Knowing that at the end of all this celebrating, all the parties, final hurrah’s, and recognition of accomplishments lies a separation. One that I have worked toward, planned for and frankly dreamed about. It really is the whole goal of raising children; that they become thinking, serving, faith filled adults who make a life for themselves outside of Mom and Dad. Parenting is all about working yourself out of a job. Or maybe into a new role. Working toward the time when you are a sounding board, a source of solicited advice, and maybe even a friend.

I guess thinking that can all happen without lots of heart ache, and growing pains is naive. Even if I have been through it once before. This kid is different. He’s unique just like our relationship. This journey will look different from the last senior year. And different from the one yet to come. It will be uniquely Middle Son.

I can’t wait for the journey, and the tears and the celebrations.

Love this kid so much and am so very excited to see where he takes his life!

Carter 16

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Filed under Parenting, Senior Year