Am I a Patient Person?

Adam looked at me over his phone as we sat in our his-and-hers-chairs in the cubbie-hole office room of our house, “Am I a patient person?” he asked.

I put down what I was doing and looked back at him. “Yes.” I answered.

Then, like we were playing catch I threw the question back at him… “Am I?”

We instantly cracked up together, knowing I am not!

Feeling the need to defend myself I said, “I can be patient when someone says, Julie BE PATIENT! It’s just that otherwise I think my job is to keep kicking the ball down the road towards the goal line no matter what obstacles are in the way!”

I may not naturally be a patient person, but I’m thankful God is. Even before all this COVID virus stuff, the Lord taught our family a lesson in His patience – how He waits for us to see and understand things from His perspective.

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A Heart Full of Thanksgiving on Christmas Eve

Today I am so thankful for just being a mom. I love watching my kids grow up and become people of their own. It’s like slowly unwrapping a Christmas gift.

At first you get “It’s a boy!” and uncover what color eyes they have, whose nose they inherited and how long their toes are.

As the weeks and months slip by, you notice their little personality quirks – strong wills about sleeping or not sleeping, favorite positions, and funny facial expressions.

So many qualities that I see in my kids now as teenagers, I’ve seen in them since they were infants!

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The Unexpected Change of Plans

Recently we had an unexpected change of plans.

And they were BIG plans to me. I’d call them anchor plans of the day, what we planned other things around.

Then, 20 minutes before the expected start time, someone called and cancelled due to events totally out of their control.

And I can’t lie… I was bummed. Frustrated. Even a touch mad.

My thoughts sounded like, Are you serious? Do they know we planned our whole day around this?! Don’t they care? I wish I known this yesterday!

It was all about me!

In reality this other party was probably feeling the same. Their plans had also been interrupted. And they were torn with how to handle it. But I didn’t look at it from that angle.

I tried to sound understanding on the phone and say it was OK and we’d happily reschedule! But I also tried to leave one note of my true feelings in my voice, hoping they get the drift I wasn’t real happy about it.

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Grief and the Holidays

The holidays are supposed to be The Most Wonderful Time of the Year. But when you’ve lost a loved one, grief can grip even the jolliest of moods.

Here’s my story:

There we were, circled up to give thanks just as we did seven years ago. The turkey was carved by the oven with care, in hopes that our family soon would be there.

But this year two special seats were empty at our table. As my dad led a short devotional about the source of our Thanksgiving, my eyes started to blur.

How can I be overcome with thanksgiving and sadness at the same time? Like paper clips strung together, memories flashed one by one through my mind and a few tears slipped down my cheek.

The strong man’s hand I used to hold, and the meek woman’s hand that would hold me were missing.

My grandparents.

Please finish reading this story over at East Texas Moms Blog.… and discover how you can grieve with hope this Christmas!

Confessions from a Closet Adrenaline Junkie

I have a confession to make: I am a closet adrenaline junkie.

What I mean is, I’m not the jump-out-of-a-perfectly-good-airplane, bungee jumping, parasailing, Evel Knievel, live-life-on-the-edge kind of person. Those are obvious adrenaline junkies.

My addiction to adrenaline is a little more subtle. It shows up in how fast I can get something done and do it perfectly, without forgetting something like a key ingredient.

One of my favorite games to play (and ironically my kid’s least favorite to play against me) is a cup stacking game.

It has a deck of cards and 5 different colored cups – red, yellow, green, blue, black.

Each card has a different design pattern.

So to play, you turn over a card and everyone stacks their cups in corresponding order to match the card. The first person to do it hits the bell and if the order is correct, wins the round.

 

I don’t love a lot of games, but oh my goodness, I love this game! The volume and chaos it produces in our house is equivalent to a spoons game. I’ll let you picture that for a minute.

Recently, I’ve realized that this game describes most of my days. Subconsciously, when I wake up, I flip over a card. My goal by the end of the day is to stack all the “cups” or to-do’s of my day to match the picture in my head – as fast as possible. And when I do, I proudly ring the bell, hoping everyone sees my feat and congratulates me with cheers and high fives.

The rest of this story is over at the East Texas Mom’s Blog….I hope you’ll click over and finish reading!

Don’t Let Anything Steal Your Joy!

Has something ever stolen your joy?

A few weeks ago I woke up unable to move my shoulder. Actually I could move it, but when I did, an electrical current shot through my toes. So I decided not to move it.

I guess it means I’m not as young as I once was when I sleep wrong and separate my shoulder! Literally. That’s what happened.

For two weeks I couldn’t put deodorant on, turn on the light switch, sleep, put my socks on, hug my kids, push a grocery cart or type at the computer unless I had a hundred pillows bunched up in a certain way.

Ok maybe not 100 pillows. But it was honestly one of the most painful things I’ve ever gone through – above having 3 C-sections.

I wanted to put my arm in a sling to keep it still all day, but the chiropractor who adjusted my shoulder back in place told me I had to keep it moving. He said Don’t keep it still! All the muscles and tendons were in protection mode and basically signaling to my brain Nobody move! I had to override that impulse and stretch those muscles and tendons out.

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A Water Slide Called Motherhood

I see metaphors everywhere. Kinda like the movie The 6th sense, but instead of seeing dead people, I see metaphors.

The latest one I’ve been pondering on came from the water park. My kids and I were going to ride one more slide before calling it a day. We walked over to grab a tube, my feet burning on the hot concrete, and my daughter said, “Can we each get our own this time?” “Sure!” I said, happy to go alone and just carry a single tube up the endless stairs.

As we walked to the slide, I watched my kids run ahead of me, each carrying their own tube. On the way up I passed a kid maybe 13 years old hauling a two-man raft for his little sister. “Do you need any help?” I asked, drawing closer, because I actually had an extra hand… “No thank you. I’m fine.” He answered.

water park

I never thought of motherhood like carrying tubes at a water park, but there are some parallels.

Birth through 2 years is full of feedings, diaper changes, naps and hold me mommy. As moms, we carry the tube. All day. And we appreciate it when other people ask to help.

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When it Feels Like No One is Listening

Over the sound of running water and clanking dishes in the kitchen, I could hear my children discussing something as they cleaned up dinner. Their tone told me something was being debated.

My husband and I paused the conversation we were having in the other room to listen in and decide whether we needed to intervene or let them work it out.

We didn’t know the specifics of what they were arguing about but the tone told us most of the story. Our youngest had started to explain something, but he didn’t tell the details exactly right. So his sister helped him be a little more accurate. But that still didn’t suffice for the oldest brother, who then edited the story again to his specifications.  Well, that in turn left Zach, who started the whole thing, feeling frustrated and deflated. It was like he needed to defend himself, his story and his right to tell his story his way.

All this from a tone.

Through my son and this situation, I recognized a fear I can struggle with.

It’s the fear of not being heard. Or of being heard but misunderstood.

To read the rest of this post, click HERE. 

 

Would Someone Please Turn On the Light?

The shower water was already running when I realized I forgot to grab my clothes. Opening the dresser, I reached towards the pile where my night shirts are stacked, looking for a particular shirt. The room was dark, and at first glance I didn’t see it.

I squinted my eyes and fingered though the stack again, but still couldn’t find it. Next I pulled the stack of shirts out, thinking somehow it got shoved in the corner. Still didn’t see it. Frustrated now because I’m wasting hot water, I walked to the light switch and flicked on the lights. Lo and behold, there was my shirt hiding in plain sight.

Good grief I thought to myself. Why didn’t I do that in the first place?

Well, because I thought I knew where it was and didn’t think I needed the light!

Trying to laugh, I hollered to my husband in the other room “Hey, just a piece of advice: when you’re looking for something, it helps to turn on the light!”

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Has Anyone Seen My Keys?

The other day we were late to leave the house and my husband could not find his truck keys. He knew he had seen them, even had them in his hand that very morning. We checked everywhere, every cabinet, drawer, basket, dirty pair of pants, his usual pocket….and…nothing!

After going back through all of those areas again, he decided to check his truck. One pull on the handle told him it was locked. Hoping he didn’t lock the keys in the truck, he cupped his hands to peer through the window at the ignition. No keys there.

Pondering what to do next, he instinctively stuck his hands in his pockets. That’s when he felt it. In his left pocket was a familiar metallic, key-shaped object pressing against his hand. Embarrassed, he pulled it out and yep, it was his truck key!

We are creatures of habit. Adam’s habit is to put his keys in his right pant pocket. When it wasn’t there, he panicked and didn’t know where they could be! He checked his right pocket a dozen times. But because he is such a strong creature of habit it didn’t dawn on him to simply check the other pocket.

I laughed at my husband’s lost keys but I so easily do this in my walk with Christ.

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