Thursday, January 7, 2016

i never wanted to be a mom

i never wanted to be a mom.


that seems like such a selfish statement, especially when i know women who have been trying unsuccessfully to conceive, but my truth never came from selfishness, it came from fear.

when you're 6 years old and your mom dies it changes your perspective.

you see things differently.

you dream different dreams.

you want different things.

and the last thing i wanted to be was a mom.

but if i broke it down, the last thing i really wanted was to be my mom.

the mom that died and left her kids behind.

and so i never allowed myself to wish for it.

i never allowed myself to hope for it.

i never allowed myself  to want it.

when you grow up as a motherless daughter you don't grow up wanting that.

any of it.

because it's too scary.

you don't dream of a forever family when your own forever is ripped away in the middle of the night.

you can't allow yourself to tell a child "i'll always be here for you" when you know it's not true.

it's a promise you know you can't make.

no, when your mother dies and leaves you behind you stop believing in always.

you stop believing in a lot of things.

and you put up a wall with real emotions on one side and what you want people to see on the other.

because that's how you survive.

that's how i survived.

i refused to miss my mom. i refused to be sad. i refused to talk about it.

and i told myself i didn't want something that i really did want.

and one day i became my own worst fear.  

i became a mom.

and my life became a million unspoken "what ifs".

what if i die at 37 like she did?

what if i die when my children are little?

what if i die and never get to say goodbye?

it's an endless recording and it never stops playing.

what if i die? what if i die? what if i die?

when my son adam was born i caught myself holding my breath.

17 years later i find myself still holding it.

and when tommy was born years later i thought to myself "what am i doing?"

i still have moments when i think that.

what am i doing? what am i doing? what the heck am i doing?

and i feel my chest tighten. and feel myself start to panic.

and i feel myself smothering them, and holding them too close.

and i feel like i never should have done this.

any of it.

because every day, in the very back corner of my mind, a thought overtakes me. a thought that at any moment this could be all over.

this wonderful, crazy, beautiful life with my sons, with my family, could all be over.

but i stop myself. i stop myself from thinking that i never wanted to be a mom.

because even in the million moments of crazy panicked uncertainty i see the truth.

i feel the truth.

i know the truth.

and the truth is the most wonderful thing that has ever happened in my life

was becoming the very person i said i never wanted to be.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

note to self: i don't have time for my life

i've done it again.

said yes when i should have said no.

added 5 million more things to my list that already had 5 million things on it.

felt like i needed to help everyone.

felt like i needed to live up to everyone.

forgot to pay a bill.

or two.

let's be honest, it's more than two.

missed a meeting.

let the dishes sit in the sink overnight.

and then the whole next day too.

didn't make my bed.

didn't drink my water.

didn't eat lunch.

haven't made dinner.

lost my patience.

lost my motivation.

lost my mind. 

found it.

and then lost it again.

and it's not the first time for any of these things.

and it probably won't be the last.

because i'm a people pleaser.

and an enabler.

and a control freak.

and really bad at saying no.

and really bad at not finding time to do it all.

and really bad at remembering the good i do.

because i still have SO MUCH to do.

and i won't stop until it's done.

and i'll hate that some of it will be late.

and i'll hate that some of it isn't important.

and i'll hate that some of it i shouldn't even be doing.

but i'll still do it.

because i said i would.

because I AM CRAZY.

because sometimes i like to believe i am a superhero. 


and i'm missing out on my life.

and i'm missing out on my boys.

and i'm worrying way too much about things that don't matter.

and not spending nearly enough time on things that do.

note to self: i don't have time for my life

but even worse...what if life finally stops having time for me?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

dear tommy...Santa is real...

and so today i had the "talk" i've been dreading for years. my 9 year old asked me if Santa was real.

my heart sunk. just like when he asked me last year about the tooth fairy. and the Easter bunny before that.

we tell our kids to tell the truth and then we lie to them.

we are not good parents.

but the truth is, we tell these stories because we are good parents. at least we're trying to be. and we want our kids to grow up with a sense of wonder and surprise and joy.

because, let's face it, this world can be cruel. so if we can portray that the world is good through a man in a red suit than so be it. and let's so be it as long as we can.

but as of this morning, i am probably the worst mom in the world. at least it felt that way when i saw his face.

because tommy did not take the news well. and for the next hour he didn't want to talk about it.

but then we read the letter i wrote to him again. this time together. i cried. he cried. and then we hugged.

i'm sad that he has to grow up.

he's sad that he has to grow up.

but we both know that he has to grow up.

and today he did just that.

here's the letter i wrote him right before i broke his heart to answer his question.

i hope Santa doesn't put me on the Naughty List.

Dear Tommy,

I know you want an answer to your question about Santa. You want to know if he is real. If it's really me and Dad who put the presents under the tree. If it was me who wrote Santa's answers last year to the questions you asked in the letter you left for him in the kitchen. You said his writing looked like mine.

And you want to know if we've been lying to you. Because people at school are talking. And some believe in him and some don't and you just want the truth.

Well, the truth is Tommy, is that Santa is real.

But he's not just one person like they portray in all the movies and books about him. Santa is me. And Dad. And the moms and dads of your friends. Santa is in the heart of every boy and girl who ever believed in him and then grew up to become parents of their own.

Sure we say he lives at the North Pole and he has reindeer and he flies all over the world to deliver presents to all the good little boys and girls but that's not the truth. Because the truth is Santa lives in North Carolina. And Nebraska. And Cleveland.

And a thousand other places around the world.

And Santa isn't just one person. He's a hundred people. He's a thousand people. He's a million people.

Because Santa isn't a person...he's a feeling.

He's the hope that you feel when you know Christmas is coming and you keep your fingers crossed that he'll stop at our house. It's the generosity you feel when you leave cookies out for him and food for his reindeer ”because they'll get hungry too.” It's the magic of a story that makes you feel that being good should be rewarded and being bad should not.

And though we tell you that you need to be asleep or Santa won't come, the truth is he can be seen everywhere if you look hard enough.

Santa lives in our neighbors who put up their tree in the window and their stockings on the shelf.

Santa lives in your teachers who make ornaments with you and sing Christmas songs.

Santa lives in good deeds and making sure that what we have is shared.

Believing in Santa makes us all, even for a little while, become better people.

And so Dad and I keep the spirit of Santa alive.

Oh Tommy, I have never looked forward to having this conversation with you. Because part of me doesn't want you to grow up. And believing in Santa, the REAL Santa Claus, is one of the last links you have to being little.

But you're not little anymore. You'll always be my baby, but you're growing up. And so I give you the truth about Santa today with a sad but hopeful heart. Because I hope that knowing the truth won't be disappointing but will open a world of wonder that you have never known.

Because today, you become Santa too.

And it's your job to keep the spirit of Santa alive in those who haven't heard the whole story yet.

So when you see a little boy looking in awe at Santa in the store be sure to smile. When you see a little girl waving at Santa in the parade be sure to wave too. And when you grow up and have children of your own, pass on the tradition. Pass on the magic. Pass on the hope.

And believe in miracles. And believe in the magic.

And never let anyone tell you that Santa isn't real.

Because the spirit of Santa IS real.

It lives in me.

It lives in Dad.

And I hope it will always live in you.

I love you forever Tommy.

And that's the truth.



P.S. Sometimes I still look up at the sky on Christmas Eve to see if I can see Santa. And sometimes, yes sometimes Tommy, I think I really do.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

written down in stone

i was looking through the paper last week and i came across an obituary of a woman the same age as me. i don't read obituaries all the time, especially if i don't know the person, but for some reason i was drawn to this one. and as i read through the words they had written about her, it made me think about my own life and what it would have said if that obituary had been mine. 

maybe it's the fact that i'm getting older. maybe it's seeing yet another tragedy play out with the tornado in Oklahoma. maybe it's just that i have so many things i want to do in my life that i seem to keep putting off. but whatever the reason, the thought of our lives eventually being written down in stone stayed in my head.

written down in stone

i saw it written in the paper,
i saw her face before her name,
and when i read her age it stopped me,
and prayed my life won't be the same.

it said she lived for 44 years,
and she died suddenly at home,
and it went on to tell her lifetime,
now it was written down in stone.

it seemed we both were born the same year,
but her life ended way too soon,
“and who's to know”, I thought to myself,
how much she still had planned to do.

she left behind a loving husband,
family, friends and a small son,
and her lifetime came right down to,
two paragraphs of what she'd done.

as i looked out the kitchen window,
suddenly it seemed so clear,
we don't get to choose our ending,
but get to live while we're still here.

and everyone will have a story,
that will be told when it's the end,
we fill in pages as we're living,
with time we borrow and we spend.

the moments that are set before us,
are only given as a loan,
and so we better get to living...
before they're written down in stone.

crazy how death always makes us think about life isn't it? but it's a good thing. 

because thinking about life usually leads us to living. 

not just existing. not just breathing.

we only get one chance to write our story and though we don't get to choose the ending we do get to decide the chapters. we do get to decide where we're headed.

so let's decide to live. REALLY live. and love. REALLY love.

today. right now. this moment. 

while it's still here.

and while the book of our life is still open.

Monday, March 11, 2013

struggling with food: bad habits are hard to break

last year i revealed my struggle with food in this post " i used to have an eating disorder " and it's like it opened up something that i thought i dealt with long ago.

apparently i was wrong.

the post made me retreat inside myself. worried that i had shared too much. worried that i had labeled myself. worried that maybe i missed those days of wanting to be skinny.


desperately wanting.

crazy, self obsessed wanting.

it's like satan was knocking at my door again, saying "hey, remember me?" "remember how good it felt?" remember how great it was?"

and the realistic me knows it wasn't great. but the past me knows there were glimpses of joy.

they were tiny, never lasting, self defeating glimpses. but glimpses none the less.

crazy isn't it? to find joy in the middle of our pain.

it's a constant battle. every bite. every decision. every time i weigh myself.

i'm battling against who i was. i'm battling for who i need to be.

i'm battling not to let this world define who i am.

but i think the important part is i realize it. that i'm aware of my struggle. that i go into the battle knowing full well the danger that an eating disorder can do.

my friend died from it. not officially of course. officially she died because her body couldn't fight an infection she got. but her body couldn't fight it because of all the years of abuse. and those of us in the circle knew that. those of us who had struggled beside her knew.

and though we were all years past our own issues with food, i come to realize now that we may move on but it's always a part of us.

it's always a voice.

it's always a temptation.

and sometimes it's a desire.

sometimes it's a feeling that we want to feel again.

just for a moment.

a tiny moment.

a tiny self defeating moment.

because that's the disease. that's the disorder.  

but i don't want to be the person i was.

i don't want to be who i used to be.

i don't want to die because i can't let go.

so i let go of the past everyday.

and i move forward towards a healthier life.

and i pray to God it will never be me again. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

five minute fridays...home

Five Minute Friday
i love five minute fridays. i love them but i don't do them nearly as much as i should.

but today i'm following lisa-jo's lead and i'm taking 5 minutes to do what i love to do...write. so here goes...5 minutes, no editing, no over-thinking, no plan...



as i grow older home doesn't mean the same thing to me anymore. sure it means family, and memories and being able to be yourself in a world that constantly tries to change you, but home means more to me now.

with each growing year my heart longs for something more. it longs for my final home. it longs to be with my Lord and Savior.

my heart sees home as Heaven now. i see home as Jesus.

there are days that i wish Heaven would hurry. i wish to leave the craziness of this world behind.

but something always stops me. something always tells me there's more work to be done.

there's a world of hurting people that need help. there's a world of hurting people who haven't met Jesus. there's a world of hurting people that need to know...they need to know that they don't have to walk around hurting. that they can have peace. that they can be ok.

so even while my hearts longs for my eternal home, i understand that there's still work to be done.

there are still porches of people's souls that need to be swept. still dirty laundry that needs to be cleaned out of lives. and still weeds that need to be pulled out of people's hearts.

yeah there's a lot of work to be done first before i go home. so much work to be done.

but i'm ready. as much as i'm ready to be home, i'm ready to make sure everyone else is coming home with me too.