Tuesday, March 19, 2013

brain dump, emotion version

The last few days have been rough. I can't put my finger on what, but I know the common theme is "things Keri is not doing well." I think it was prompted by my trip to Savannah. It was a good trip (presh pics to follow) but for me, lots of family time usually leaves me feeling like I kind of suck. I start (over?) analyzing everything. I want to be fun versus a stick in the mud. I want to be supportive versus critical. I want to be encouraging and loving. Known sometimes as "the religious one" in my family, I want this faith I profess to shine through. But I leave feeling like I just may push people further and further away from this person, this Jesus, that I talk about.

I can give myself grace and remember that I am not powerful enough to thwart God's plan for anyone. I cannot change His plan for their lives, even if I acted like a total horse's behind for 2 days. Ross told me to have a drink and just have fun. Why does that seem like a mountain to climb some days?

I'm back home and on day two of just feeling like there a million things I am not. I am not discliplined. I am not patient. I am not loving. I am not healthy, I am not prayerful. I am not determined or committed or intentional. The counselor in me is trying to separate who I am from what I'm doing. The objective truth is that I am not doing a great job of living a well disciplined, patient, loving, prayerful, determined, intentional life. I am lagging behind.  And I never do well in last place.

In any area of my life, the better I am, the better I am. Success drives me to do better, be better. Failure, perceived or not, stunts me. I get so weighed down with all the things I am not doing well and cannot climb out of the hole of self-degradation, and yes, sometimes self pity,  too. The trick is always to find that happy middle of acknowledging areas that need improvement while giving grace and remembering that my worth comes from doing not a damned thing. It comes from being His.

Having children helps. I try to imagine Mary Kate coming to me at 31 years old with two needy gremlins at her ankles and saying "mom, I totally suck at life right now." I would do what my mom does so, so well. I would tell her that life is not a party right now. That despite the most loving family in the world, she is doing it without grandma right down the street ready for insta-babysitting or insta-grocery shopping. I would tell her that her children are perfect and beautiful and that raising them is the most important thing she can do. I would tell her that noone gives a crap if she finishes her half marathon or throws up on mile 6, as her current training might predict. I would tell her that Jesus knows her love for Him and that she just needs to keep sitting at His feet.

I go back to that wonderful text from my friend Elizabeth:

So, I'm gonna stop the emotional projectiling and take a deep breath. I'm gonna go spend some time with Jesus and trust that to Him, I'm doing okay. Goodness knows I've got major room for improvement but, as my college counselor used to say, "spend some time on the pity pot but don't forget to flush." Flushing commenced...

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Half birthday for Mr. T

My dreamboat baby is 6 months old and every cliche in the world fits. How is he halfway to one year old?  After those first 12 weeks of 4th trimester torture, it has flown by. I cannot believe it. I'll add stats tomorrow after his appointment for the inevitable comparisons of children but for now, a few facts about my favorite little man.

  • is mostly an easy baby. He definitely likes to be held (what baby doesn't) but if he's dry and fed, is generally happy to play in the exercaucer or bumbo.
  • immediately stops squaking if we go outside.
  • is starting to interact with Mary Kate and, as all moms of more than one kid say, this is the best part about growing your family.
  • has the best, biggest smile ever.
  • has the best, biggest belly ever.
  • loves nothing more than being in the bath.
  • is an action man. Bounce him on your lap, throw him in the air, dance with him, he's happy.
  • looks for his dad. If Ross is anywhere to be found, T is stretching his neck to find him. Watch the two of them for 5 seconds and you'll see.
  • still loves his mama. feeling is beyond mutual
  • takes 2-3 naps a day and the more consistent I am with watching the clock and not getting him overtired, the better the naps are (duh).
  • likes a paci and can (finally) hold it in his mouth!!
  • wakes up once a night when he can't find that paci. monster created. Don't care though because waking up once to  give him that thing is totally worth the insta-cork it provides during the day
  • hates the car for any rides longer than 12 minutes. Gonna be a long trip to his first St. Patrick's day parade this weekend!
  • started solid food this month. so far oatmeal and carrots are a hit. trying to not to do too much so we don't sacrifice milk supply but our little chunk was definitely ready for food that doesn't taste like diet coke.
  • loves the bjorn despite mama's preference for the back preserving ergo.
  • will easily take a nap in the ergo though which is so nice for flexibility in our day.
  • is a round, round little butterball and we adore him.
sweet snuggle time

sweet smother snuggle time

big sister abuse

more big sister abuse (note bow)

2 favorites, his mama and his reflection

learning how to eat/gnaw on a spoon

tis the season for food hidden in the no-neck.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Litany of Humility

The post I wrote this week (see below) was a reflection on the Gospel of Luke, chapter 18. "The one who humbles himself will be exalted."  Catching up on our Lenten devotional, I found this prayer at the end of Rachel's post and it fit perfectly with what I wanted to say (and what I, myself, want and need to pray). Enjoy!

~written by Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val (1865-1930)~
         O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being extolled, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being honored, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being praised, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being preferred to others, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being consulted, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being approved, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being humiliated, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being despised, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of suffering rebukes, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being calumniated, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being forgotten, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being ridiculed, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being wronged, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being suspected, Deliver me, Jesus.
That others may be loved more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That, in the opinion of the world, others may increase and I may decrease, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be chosen and I set aside, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be praised and I unnoticed, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be preferred to me in everything, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

In Luke 18,  Jesus tells the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector. In his prayer, the Pharisee reminds the Lord of all he has done, fasting, praying and tithing. The tax collector goes humbly, on his knees, and asks for mercy for his sins. Jesus reminds us that it is the tax collector who is justified. “The one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

For many of us reading this, we are good people trying to live out our faiths in a very secular world. We go to Mass each week, we may attend a Bible study. We spend time in prayer, we fast. It can feel like we are doing so much compared to others.  We measure ourselves against a world that, these days, doesn’t set a very high bar. But even if we measured ourselves against the piety of the holiest man, it is our humility the Lord most desires.  If  we went to Mass every day, made a monthly confession and tithed more than our 10% and came to the Lord showing him all our good deeds, He would be more pleased with the person  who had done none of this but said to Him, “Bless me for I have sinned.”

There is a great comfort in knowing that it is the condition of our hearts that will hurt or please the Lord. We absolutely should spend as much time as possible in prayer, fasting, almsgiving. These things make us more like Jesus and bring us closer to Him. We just have to do so with humility. We can’t earn our way into Heaven. Jesus took every one of those nails out of the same love for saint and sinner.  We say at Mass, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof.” We humble ourselves before we receive the greatest gift ever given, the actual body of Christ. That shows how important humility is in the Christian walk.

We will all walk through different seasons of life. There will be times when we can make it to daily Mass and monthly confession, times when we can tithe 10% before taxes. Hopefully, we will get on our knees each night of those plentiful times and tell the Lord that we are thankful for His provision and ask for forgiveness for the ways we didn’t honor Him. There will also be times when we can’t get to daily Mass, when our tithe will be in time rather than money. Hopefully we will get on our knees during those times and tell the Lord we are thankful for His provision and ask forgiveness for ways we didn’t honor Him.

Our God loves us in plenty or in want. He loves us not for what we do or give, but who we are. God doesn’t love us because we’re good. He loves us because HE is good.


Friday, March 1, 2013

7 quick reasons stay at home moms should leave the house daily

--- 1 ---
Not having left the house today as of 12:50 in the pm, I am reminded of why stay at home moms should leave the house once per day. Costco, the drive thru at McD's or even the place your husband begs you not to enter, Publix. If you stay at home with your children, leave the house for your own reasons, if not for these.
--- 2 ---
*assuming you are a decent human being, which I am, most days*, leaving the house requires brushing of teeth, hair, and wearing of a brassiere. It also requires brushing of at least hair of pine straw headed toddler. For this little outing, you and your family can no longer be mistaken for hobos living in a tent on a commune.
--- 3 ---
Leaving the house increases the chances you will talk to another adult. You can practice using 4 syllable words and expressions other than that made by a monkey and his yellow hatted friend.
--- 4 ---
Leaving home helps you practice legitimate and proper discipline. My friend Rachel has said that on bad days with her kids, she responds to them as if someone else were watching her. When I try this, I am much less likely to threaten to flush MK down the toilet. I've never threatened that. ahem. That said, going out of the house has me practice all the things the "experts" tell you to do. Sometimes it works. Sometimes MK looks at me like "when you are you going to threaten me with that empty goofy sounding threat again."
--- 5 ---
Exercise. On days when the only walking I do is to wipe a toddler's bum (how many times can the girl poo in one day????), going out requires that I lift two people in and out of carseats and grocery carts. That totally counts as at least half a body bar class at Ladies First Fitness Athens. (out of business since 2004).
--- 6 ---
Getting out of the house means that I will catch at least 3 stoplights during which time I will apply 4 year old mascara, blush via a lipstick tube, and a quick pinking of the lips. Ross can totally tell when I've done the redlight makeover but it is still miiiiles beyond what he normally gets.
--- 7 ---
Lastly, getting out of ye old casa means that  for the duration of time we're gone, my house isn't being destroyed with stickers, crushed goldfish or 200 diapers for 2 naked baby dolls. Any hope of a semi neat home depends on letting the kid trash someone else's home or retail establishment.
On that note, after nap trip planned to costco for veggie pizza and a big arse bottle of wine. Happy Friday!
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!