Lean In

I wrote this last summer. A song on my playlist kept whispering to me as I was out running on my trail. The thoughts and connections wouldn’t stop, so I did. I stopped along the trail, attempted to catch my breath in a million different ways, and started writing in the notes app on my phone.

I’m sure I looked crazy: swaying back and forth, smiling, nodding at the thoughts, watching the water and other runners pass by, letting the words flow through me. Crazy as I may have looked, I know all my words are for a purpose. So, while they have sat in my phone for months, they needed to gently remind me today… Lean in.

I pray that you are blessed by this today, wherever you are in life.


 

When it all hurts and you want to curl up or just run far, don’t. Don’t. Lean in. As hard and as contrary as that sounds, lean in a little bit more.

You don’t have to lean in so far you lose your way. And you don’t have to lean in so far you forget where you started. And don’t lean in so far you lose yourself.

But sit.

Quietly.

Gently leaning closer. Closer to the problem. Closer to the uncomfortable. Closer to the anxiety. Closer to the fear.

Come closer, let me whisper this to you gently my dear one. It’s some sort of fear that’s making you want to run. Some sort of misunderstanding. Some sort of uneasy. Maybe some sort of hurt you’ve caused. I get it. Fear is anxiety producing. Fear is scary. Fear is hurt. Fear makes us want to run.

But don’t run. It will only chase you harder. I know you want to escape it. I know you want to pretend it’s not there. I know some days you want to pretend you’re stronger than the fear. But it will always creep back in until you learn to sit with it. Until you make friends with it. Until you learn to sit in the deep dark with it and understand each other.

Be cautious in this space too. It’s not okay to spill your hurt on other people. Yes, share it with them. Let them in. Hurting people can hurt other people. Don’t mistreat those close to you out of your pain, but let them in to see it.

It’s okay to show up and be vulnerable. I know that’s scary too. Let safe people in to help you. To hold you. To see you. There is something magical when people see you as you really are.

Some days you may feel hollow. Incapable. Trust those days too. They are for a purpose. The hollow is God emptying out the uncertainty. It’s Him emptying out the demands life has placed on you. It’s Him emptying out the doubts others have filled you with.

Empty it all out.

Let it all go.

Let him take it all.

Be hollow.

So that, the divine can fill you with Himself. He is he absence of fear. And when you’re filled with Him, you’ll have the strength to lean into the fear. You’ll have His strength. His power.

Trust this.

And if you don’t know Him and that light, ask Him to show you. Ask Him to show up for you and be vulnerable with you. Ask Him to be all around you, reminding you, revealing Himself to you, comforting you.

Then watch.

Listen.

Hollow.

Be filled. Lean in. Get comfortable with the fear. Let Him work in the fear. Let Him pour in the love until it fills you up and runs over.

Just let go and lean in.

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The Hard Days of Being a Mama

Some days are just hard.

Some days being a mom are just really hard.

Some days being a single mom are just really really hard.

The Hard Days

I’ve had some long, full days this week. I’ve had long days at work with difficult conversations and difficult decisions, including some 10+ hour days. Tuesday alone was 4 hours of work that lead into three back to back to back meetings that went five hours straight. The 1.5 hour break had me racing home, grabbing the grocery bags, buying groceries, backing in the drive to let my son unload them, then driving back to work for another 1.5 hour meeting. I love what I do. Sometimes it’s hard.

This week has felt like hurt all around me. A friend’s three year old son was diagnosed with leukemia, and that just breaks my heart in the worst possible way. I’ve had to step back from another friend going through a really difficult time. I want to be supportive and encouraging, but that’s not wanted now. I’ve had deep conversations with other mamas about serious allergies and health issues, about the hard days of their kids hurt feelings and hard friendships, and the hard moments of being a mom. Sometimes it’s just hard.

Being a Mom

I’m up early to help with lunches and make sure they’ve brushed their teeth. Sorry moms with littles, even though my two at home are teens, they still need to be reminded to brush their teeth. I drive them to school four days a week. We leave before 7 am. I’m not a morning person. It’s not pretty.

We’re finishing up the end of year stuff and making sure grades are up. We’re planning out some college classes for both of them next year. We’re dreaming of what post high school looks like for my son with disabilities. We’re making plans for his graduation and party. We’re fitting in driver’s ed with my almost 16 year old and taking long drives. We’re making time for friends. We’re planning her 16th birthday fun.

At home this week a glass light fixture fell from the ceiling and shattered all over the place. The cat decided to puke on the landing of the stairs early one morning. Kids have chosen not to help with the basics this week, so the garbage and dishes are overflowing. I realized I missed a couple steps in preparing Jacob for graduation. My oldest son needs more forms filled out for his university.

The list could go on.

Doing it all alone

Even though some days it looks like I have it all together, I don’t. I still need help. I still need encouragement. I still need community. I still need people to surround my kids with love. And sometimes that’s hard to open up my heart, my home, and offer the opportunity for others to step into their lives. Our lives.

They’ve endured loss. Hard loss. And it’s hard to think about others walking away. I know it’s part of life. People come in and out of our lives. Sometimes they’re in our life to teach a lesson, sometimes for a season, and sometimes for more. But as a mama I just want to protect their hearts.

Choosing to Invest

I could hide my head and bury my feelings and just survive these days. Instead I’m choosing to invest in the hard work of being a mom. I’m choosing to experience the complete joy of being the mom to the three greatest blessings ever in my life. I’m choosing to show up and be vulnerable and get messy with the hard stuff of life with them. Some days there are tears. Some days there are hurt feelings. Some days there are full on meltdowns.

And all of the days are filled with laughter and hugs, smiles and I love you’s.

I love that when I get home after a long day my daughter still wants to snuggle on the couch and watch her favorite show with me. And she wants to try on fun dresses and laugh with me. And she senses when I need a hug and is quick to pull me in. And my Jacob can’t wait for me to get home so he can tell me all of his random thoughts that make perfect sense to him. And make bad “yo mama” jokes. And catch me up on the design complications of his latest welding project. And I love that my oldest son texts me during the week to see if I need anything from the sale at the Duck Store. We love our Ducks. I love them all.

Even though some moments are hard, I wouldn’t trade being a mother for anything.

So to all the hard working, soul touching, hug giving, dancing in the kitchen, eating tacos off the floor, laughing like there’s no tomorrow, natural, adoptive, foster, step, bonus mothers that are out in this big world, THANK YOU. Thank you for showing up and investing in the lives of the littles and not so littles. Thank you for making this world a better place just by being you. You are amazing and I love you for all you do and all you are and all you give. Happy Mama’s Day!

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