Category Archives: random thoughts

You are Canceled!

I remember back in 9th-grade Economics class learning my dollar was my vote. I spent it as I desired. If I did not like a product or agree with the choices the manufacturer made then I could choose not to give them my money thus taking away my vote.

This is the basis of a boycott.

If I remember correctly, it was also about this same time in my life that the Christian groups, which came to be known as the Chrstian right or the moral majority, started promoting boycotts against many companies. One I remember is Proctor and Gamble for having a logo that they deemed was Satanic.

I joined that one for a while. I know–as my daughter would say–cringy. And then explain to me how awful that word is but sometimes it is the only one that works.

Years have passed since my first lesson by Mr. Anderson about what a boycott is. I have since given them up but they sure haven’t disappeared. Now, it seems, every group across the spectrum uses them. Both sides of our government is constantly accusing the other side of canceling someone. To be honest, it is happening on both sides. And that Christian right? Oh man they complain about being canceled now. All the time!!!

It has reached epic, ridiculous proportions. But if you ask me, the canceling that matters is when someone is no longer listens to you. It’s scary and it is frustrating.

There is a way around it.

Listen first, care first.

I do not agree with anyone I know on everything. There is something that is different between me and any other person in my life. This also means I can be blocked out about at least one thing with everyone I know.

A big one is how to get to heaven. I am a Christian. I believe there is only one way to heaven. You must believe in God. Believe that Jesus is both man and God and that he died on a cross but rose again to save us from hell and make a way for us to go to heaven and we must ask him to forgive our sins in order to go to heaven.

So here’s the thing. Most people do not agree with me. And the passion I have about this belief can be a real turn off.

But…

I believe that. I know it to be true.

But…

I love the people in my life. And I do my best to make sure they know that.

They might agree with me. They might not.

That is not what decides if we can have a relationship.

We can have a relationship not because we agree but because we invest in each other. You get canceled when you treat people like objects or projects. No one wants to be told what to think or believe and they definitely don’t want to hear it if we aren’t hearing them.

Cancel culture is about so much more than children’s books or laundry soap. It is about people. It is about how we treat each other. It is about respecting each other. It is about the love we have and show each other.

Next time you don’t feel heard ask yourself if you have loved and cared about the people in your life. Have you earned the right to be heard?

Headaches

So earlier this week I blogged about losing hours to a migraine.  I actually fight quite a few headaches.  I’ve had sinus headaches since I was 6-years-old.  I remember laying in my bed holding a pillow around my head rolling around in pain.

It stunk.

There are worse things, but it stunk.

All these years later, the only thing that helps my headaches are excedrin, essential oils, and running.  But most of the time, that help is only marginal.  For the last couple years I have noticed I often wake up with a niggling headache and start each day fighting it from becoming a full blown jerk.  I have been assuming it is sinus crap.

Then tonight I clicked on a link about headaches in the morning.  The top reason they gave was high blood pressure.  I used to have fantastic blood pressure, but then I had pre-eclampsia when I was pregnant with my oldest.  It took it a while to come down after she was born, but then it did.  I went back to good blood pressure contrary to my grandma’s declaration that I was now going to have high blood pressure.  Unfortunately, it has just been erratic over the last few years.  My resting heart rate is fantastic, low, to mid 4os, but my blood pressure is always high at the doctor’s office.  Most of the time it is okay once I get home.

I don’t know why the change.  The weight I have gained?  Is it medication I am on?  Anxiety?  I exercise decently.  Right now I am in a funk, but most weeks I run 10 miles and walk in addition to that.  Hubby says I don’t exercise.  I am pretty sure he is just giving me crap.

I took it tonight and it is sky high.

Do I call the doctor or continue to let it slide?  Is Dr. Facebook as worthless as Dr. Google?

Hmm.

One on Top of the Other

I came home one night from one of Sue’s really long play practices and found Patrice busily building pyramid after pyramid out of playing cards.  She built a few in the kitchen and a couple in the living room.

I’ve never tried to build a single one because I was afraid I would knock it over.

My kids are smarter than me.

If Just For A Moment

Over the last many months, I have made some amazing new friends.  Their stories are not mine to tell, so I will keep this vague and likely short, but I have a thought.

My friends are from all over the world.  Their stories are both different and the same.  But they share, to one degree or another, a native tongue.

And I am trying to learn it.

Now please don’t think they’ve come here expecting everyone to cater to them and they will never learn English.  No, that is not the case.  They are all on their journey of learning English and most of our time together is spent using my native tongue, not theirs.

But I love them.  And I want them to know that love to the marrow of their bones.  So I am learning a phrase here or there with every visit, deliberately and intentionally.

It is good and it is fun and it is hard.  I am proud to say I could tell you two of those three adjectives in their mother tongue, but that is not my point.

My point is, they are shocked and amazed I am trying to learn their language.  I feel like my attempts are feeble, but they tell me my knowledge is growing quickly.  And it is fun to be able to catch a word here or there in their conversations around me, my joy is huge when I can remember a word when I want to use it or I get to help someone outside of my groups of friends with my little bit of knowledge.  And the laughs we have at my attempts to get my mouth to mimic the sounds that come so naturally to them.  Oh, the laughs.

It is all worth it.  It is all worth it if for just one moment I can be that American bridging the gap with their native tongue as we blend our lives together.  It is all worth it if for just one moment our hearts can meet over that shared syllable or two.

Every single day life around them is telling them they HAVE to join my world–for this moment, I want to join theirs.

Bringing Focus

The past several weeks has me paying more attention to what I eat, how I spend my hours. I have been finding more focus.

I have been rejecting activities so I can complete the things I need and want to do.

In a word

A great of my clarity is about getting my daily T25 workouts, running or walking, and planning and logging my foods.

I am logging every bite and calorie and am losing nothing. I am headed to the doctor this afternoon to see if there is an underlying issues with medications. Sigh.

But the clarity also involves our homeschooling, making sure we are home to get our studies covered.

The only area I haven’t really touched is how to keep the house clean :/

Have you chosen a word for your year?

Between Seasons

*Just a reminder, or if you are new to my blog, I use my daughter’s middle names when talking about them here.

 

July 10.  We have been done with school for less than a month, but at the same time, summer is speeding by.

The girls did beyond amazing on their standardized testing at the end of our school year.  Both Sue and Caitlyn scored significantly above grade level.  Math is still an area of struggle, but just for fun, we are resuming our math studies as of today.  Sue is thrilled (or not).

My running is back.  After weeks of worrying about recovering from my injury in May, I ran 10 miles without stopping on July 4!!!

Caitlyn and Sue started Cross Country yesterday (yay!!).  This makes mama very happy.  I love seeing them get active, it is the one sport I can relate to, and I love the family that runs the program.

Our family has made some new friends that we are spending time with a time or two each week.  Friendship is not always easy for me, but God is reminding me if I open my heart, I just might be very happy with a new friend.

Hubby is growing a wonderful garden again this year.  He has expanded it again so we can share the extra with others.  Why not do something you enjoy and bless others at the same time?

The girls have been reading like crazy this summer.  That is actually what they are doing right now.  They have filled up one booklet of 50 squares (20 minutes of reading or a reading activity is one square) and are working on their second.

Patrice tried her hand at some skateboarding.  She was very safe about it.

Sue got to wash the car last night with daddy and today is just a lazy day as it is predicted to rain all.day.long!!

But maybe, just maybe, there will be a chance for us to do some tie dye later in the week (Patrice is sporting last year’s project)…

Words, Words, Words

I have a lot of words. You know it, we all know it–I have a lot of words.  I say a lot of words, I read a lot of words.

Last week the girls were reading something and it included the word dolt.  They were stuck.  I piped up and said, “oh that is an old word used to mean someone is an idiot or not very smart.”  They were impressed, so I thought, “hey–I should use this as a teachable moment.  “Girls, how do you think you go about learning all those words?”  They chimed, “You Mommy, we go to you to learn new words.”  Not what I was going for.  Yes, they learn a lot of words from me–some good, some bad, but the teacher in me was trying to get them to say, “by reading.  We learn words by reading.

Unfortunately, no matter how much we read or how many words we know, sometimes our words will fall short.

I feel things very, very deeply.  If you are someone I admire or that I feel a connection with, I feel it very deeply.  I don’t give those feelings easily or lightly and I want those people to know how much they mean or how valuable they are.

And words fail me.

I try to send little gifts or random texts to let them know they are being thought of, that they are important, and that they are valued.

Problem is, I don’t think that message always gets across; I think I end up coming across as desperate or needy and the thing is, I’m not.  Yes, I have those times, for the most part, I am ok.  I just want the people in my life to know they are valued in my eyes and more importantly, valued in the eyes of God.

We all need to know that.

The Complexity of Loss and Families

I grew up about 5 hours from where I now live.  This sometimes makes trips to see family difficult.  It seems like it should be so simple, but it’s not.  Yes, it is close enough to do the drive up in less than a day, but also far enough away to take a good chunk of a week in order to make the travel time worth it.  Now that I write that, it sounds kind of stupid, I should probably stop being so selfish and just make the trip…but I don’t.  There are always commitments or appointments.  There is always something.

That whole thought process is complicated enough.  It gets even more complicated when I have biological family members I have not seen in over a decade, that my children, and possibly hubby, have never met.  How do I explain to my family that we need to drop everything and make a trip up north to see other family members they didn’t even know existed?

In the past, I have just shoved down my thoughts and feelings and didn’t make the trip…yet again.  And felt guilt and confusion over the entire situation.

All of this came back up this week.  A great aunt of mine passed away on Tuesday.  She is on my biological fathers’ side, so again, we haven’t had much interaction with her in a long time.

But at one time, she and I were pretty close.  My mom, step-dad and I went to church with her and her family for several years (kind of odd I know, but we lived in a small town).  I have many fond memories of her from those years.  She was very loving and sweet to myself, and so many.

Yet, while I have thought of her many times over the years, I have not spoken of her much, so again, how do I explain to my hubby and girls that I need to make a five-hour trip to go to a funeral of someone they have never known?

Once again, I will package all these thoughts and put them mentally on the shelf, never saying a word about wanting to go to her funeral.  And wonder again how life gets so complicated and how to balance it properly.

Sigh.

 

Am I a Hypocrite?

Am I a hypocrite?  As a human, yes, I am sure I am.  But right now I have two specific situations rolling around in my brain.

Let’s start with the most recent issue.  As we all know, the Presidential election is heated this year.  It seems the default assumption is, if you are not with someone, you are against them.  The thing is, that just isn’t true.  There are so many sides to each candidate.  For some, the answer of who to support is cut and dried, but for many, it just isn’t that way this year.  Like I mentioned Friday, I don’t know what I am doing with my Presidential vote on Tuesday.  I know who I am NOT voting for, but I don’t know if I will be voting for any of the other options.  I just don’t.

So for those assuming, you know how I will  vote based on other parts of my life, you just don’t.  I don’t.

And yet, the other day someone posted that Evangelical Christians are showing themselves to be the hypocrites she has always known them to be.

Wait, wait, wait.  I strongly identify as an Evangelical Christian, but neither she nor I know how I am voting, so in this area, I am not showing myself to be a hypocrite, thus negating her post.

I thought about responding to her post, but I am well aware she has made up her mind, so engaging her would not change her mind, nor mine.

Sigh.

The other situation on my mind might reveal me as a hypocrite.

Our girls have a HORRIBLE time keeping their rooms clean.  We are after them ALLLLLL the time to pick up all the clothes and stuff in their room.  That has always made me feel like a hypocrite.  You see, my room is a disaster.  Always.  It just seems after hours of homeschooling and trying to keep the living spaces of our home tamed, I just have nothing left when it comes to my room.  By the time I get there, I clear enough space to climb into bed and just be done moving.

Here I am yelling at my girls, and we all know my room is a nightmare.

And that eats at me.  Really.  I tell the girls, when they ask about my room, that I have to spend all my time on the rest of the house, but the guilt bugs me.  Maybe I am putting too much thought into it, but it makes me feel like such a fake.

Well, today, I finally got up there…and shockingly, what I thought would take me days, shaped up pretty quickly.  I have cleaned up my floor, sorted out papers just laying on my hope chest, and have it so you can move around.  I just have the top of my dresser and my nightstand to clean up.  It’s not ready for a catalog shoot or anything, but I can be satisfied with it.  And that’s enough for now.

Are there any areas in parenting  or adulting that have you feeling like a hypocrite?  Do you just ignore it or do you set out to clean it up?

Will the Words Come

My mom married young and had me young.  She and my biological dad split when I was 4.  She then met my dad who raised me, right away.  He was a good daddy.  He taught me to tie my shoes, he braided my hair, he painstakingly taught me how to ride a two-wheeled bike.  He could be very harsh and hard to understand, but all in all, he loved me.

I wish I could say the same of my bio dad.  My mom lied to me for many years, taking all the blame for their break up and his lack of involvement in my life.  And I believed her until I got married.

When he declared he couldn’t come up for my wedding, even when my soon to be hubby offered to buy his plane ticket.  He didn’t want to come…to his only child’s wedding.  Did you catch that?  Only.

That’s when it dawned on me that my mom had been lying to me my entire life…she said it was her fault he wasn’t in my life, but it wasn’t.  He could have chosen to be involved, to be a dad, but instead he chose to live several states away, never writing or calling.

He’s never made any effort to see any of my three beautiful girls.  He’s never called to thank  me for sending pictures or ask how they are.  They are his only grandchildren, and they know nothing of him.

And you know what I realized slowly, over the years, he doesn’t love me.  And it is nothing I have done or haven’t done, it just is.  He doesn’t love me.  He has always loved his pets fiercely so maybe if I had four legs, I would be worthy of his love, but as a biped, I am worthy of nothing.  Absolutely, none of his love.

I could tell you it’s okay.  I could tell you I have love from many other people, and I do, but that doesn’t make up for it.

I watch how my hubby loves his daughters, fiercely, daily, constantly.  It is beautiful and I am so glad they have that–so glad.  But sometimes it just serves to remind me what I don’t have from the man who is supposed to be my dad.  It’s gone, maybe it was never there, but it sure won’t be returning.

It doesn’t matter how old you are, it stinks to realize you biological father doesn’t love you.