Monthly Archives: April 2013

Finding the Joy

Ah the Goof

is

BACK!!

Here I sit with my foot wrapped and propped up. (It’s looking like a sprain and is already feeling better than it did this morning)

Sitting around – especially on a beautiful day – is not much fun, but it gives plenty of time for thinking.

And I found myself thinking about how lucky I am to have such an amazing family and how proud I am of the choices my kids are making.

I first thought of it when James wandered up from the basement in the late morning. He didn’t say anything to me, just walked to the dishwasher and quietly opened it. I thought he was getting a drink when I heard the chink of dishes, but as the chink lasted longer than a few seconds I realized he was quietly unloading the dishwasher. No one had asked him, he just decided to come upstairs and do it for mommy.

And I smiled and thought of all the joys of parenting.

Sometimes we get bogged down in the negatives – I know I do – how hard it is (after all – being a parent is one of the hardest jobs we’ll ever do). And I wondered if I told my kids how much I look up them and how they set amazing examples for me.

Almost every night when I go into Jacob’s room to tell him lights out he’s sitting on his bed reading his scriptures.

Emily frequently goes out of her way to help friends, siblings,  parents, and teachers. I often hear her ask, “Anything I can do to help?”

Even Robert sets an example with his loving hugs and willingness to help pick up toys.

And Dot – I  am often so amazed by my Dot. She seems fearless and is so courageous when it comes to standing for what is right. The other day I picked her up from Stage Band and asked her how her day went.

“Good,” she replied, “but I think my whole science class hates me now.”

I of course asked why and she explained that the class before hers – or maybe it was hers had angered the sub so much that he had walked out. Not having a teacher, Dorothy got up from her seat to report the situation to the office. The class members told her not to go – “We can have a party” they said. But Dot went anyway, informed the office of the situation and a sub was provided for the class.

To me that was pure bravery. That was awesomeness. I am in awe of the courage and example that she set. The youth theme for this year for our church is “Stand Ye in Holy Places and Be Not Moved” – she embodied that to me and I couldn’t have been more proud of her.

Sometimes I want to stand on top of a mountain and shout for all to hear

“MY KIDS ARE AWESOME !!!!”

Sure, kids are hard – and I know many stories of how difficult teenagers and preteens can be – but there are SO many joys. It’s worth it. Those moments when you see and hear of your child making the hard choices and doing the right thing – standing up in the face of possible ridicule to do what’s right – standing up for other kids who are being made fun of – not being afraid to live up to their standards and not compromise them. Sure they will make mistakes and maybe they won’t do all of these things all the time – but the moments they do should be celebrated and remembered. I hope I can remember to focus on all the good my kids do and not get bogged down in the negatives of parenting.

There’s so much negative in the world today – we don’t need more. My kids make plenty of mistakes and poor choices and it’s easy to think that’s all they do and then I remind myself that they do just as many good things if I’m paying attention. Most people are eager to point out how hard parenting is, how tiring, how difficult – how awful the dreaded teenage years can be – most people know all these things.

But, how many point out all the joys, the rewards, the pay offs, that come with it? I can’t count how many times I heard the words loaded with negativity “Just wait until their teens” when I talked about how good or hard my young children were. How discouraging those words felt. We don’t need to be told and tell other parents how hard things are – or how hard they may get – I think most of us already have a pretty good idea of the heartaches – just check the news – what we really need to to remind each other of are the things that make parenting joyous.

Let’s not be so eager to point out all the negatives – let’s encourage, lift & celebrate all that our children are and can do. I know I have hard years ahead – what stage in parenting doesn’t? But I know for every battle lost or mistake made there are many battles fought and won.

Celebrate the amazing in your kids!

And who knows – maybe it will give them the courage

to be even more amazing than they already are.

MY KIDS ARE AWESOME!!!

AND YOURS ARE TOO!!!

(I think this calls for an ice cream party – and when asked why, I think I’ll just say “Because you are all AWESOME!!”)

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Filed under Bobert, Dot, Em, Jacob, James, Parenting

I’m Back!!

That’s what I felt like shouting when I woke up yesterday morning.

Instead I scared the cat by singing

Oh What a Beautiful Morning…

at the top of my lungs

very badly

in the shower

But, it all meant and led to the same thing and feeling

and that is

after a long year

a year of major hurdles

grief

lots of tears

a bit of laughter

and trying to figure out how to make my broken heart work again

I woke up feeling genuinely happy.

And that feeling is sticking around.

Maybe it was just the knowledge of knowing the hardest year is behind us.

Maybe it was just passing the epic one year anniversary & that all the firsts are done.

Maybe it is because Spring is finally here and I awoke to birds chirping and flowers blooming.

I’m not sure.

I know I still miss Lizy.

I always will.

I know I will still have hard and sad moments.

But, I feel the heaviness of sorrow lifting from me and I am excited to move onward.

I have the desire to write again,

to play more,

to sing (however badly out of tune) more,

to do and be more.

It’s not that I’ve been a sad mopey mess all this last year.

I’ve chosen to be as happy as I could be – and I like to think I was more often happy than not.

But, it’s been a hard choice – a conscious choice – the kind I have to remind myself of frequently

“You’re choosing to be happy, not mopey, remember”

And for the first time in a year I felt like that choice wasn’t forced, or difficult – it just was.

It used to be an easy thing. Being happy. Having fun. I didn’t like feeling like I had to physically make that choice every day and force it until I felt it.

Yesterday morning I felt like it was easy again.

AND I HAD FUN!!!

I’m not sure what the difference is.

I think it’s a combination of all of those things.

But I also know that because I worked hard all year long choosing to be happy rather than miserable, that Lord has blessed and helped me greatly.

There’s nothing wrong with grieving and being sad, but I firmly believe we can choose to be happy, find the positive, and recognize the blessings in the midst of extremely difficult trials and that we will be blessed for our efforts. I’m not saying I was good at it all the time. I had plenty of fist pounding, gut wrenching, sobbing moments when I thought I would fly to pieces and crumble to dust. I had moments where I wanted to curl up in a ball and cease to exist, I had moments when I was frustrated and angry, but I fought through them all and, I feel, came out a little better each time. Each time I clung to hope and faith and found the happy – even if it was just a minute little spark struggling in the dark – it was there and I found it.

And someday maybe that terribly hard choice to do all those good positive things won’t be quite as hard.

I feel it happening to me now

and I am so grateful

I like being happy

and cheery

and corny…

I’m BACK!!!

And even better, I’m sure Lizy is excited for me too…

after all it’s her book I’m working on first…

Belinda is back too 😀

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Filed under Miscellaneous