Think About Such Things

Today, where I live, it is a rainy, stay in your house, contemplative type of day. With that in mind, in case it is the same at your home, I wanted to give you something to think about.

It seems like daily I question or doubt my parenting skills and/or decisions. Sometimes I know I have hit the mark, responding in grace, moving in love. Other days, I know for sure I missed, even at times by a long shot.

Although many days I have answered patiently, cultivated uniqueness, built character, delivered affection, or fostered learning, I have also been short tempered, reacted harshly, displayed exhaustion, and miscommunicated.

As with all realms of life, some days of parenting are better than others. And as you add additional children to the mix, the stakes seem to get higher, for now you have to have a double portion of the goodness, which can even bring about an additional dose of the bad.

A few weeks ago, I was trying to get the kids in the car to go somewhere. Reflecting back, I can’t remember where we were going, if we were late, if it was important, or what the circumstances were at all really. I just remember the kids, me, and the car were involved, and somewhere along the line, I lost it. I yelled at Daniel. Don’t ask me what I said or why I said it, for I can’t recall. All I know is that it wasn’t said in love. And it was most likely loud.

I do remember though driving off toward our destination, and before I could even get off our street, mommy guilt was ripping me to shreds. I was giving myself mental kicks in the rear for messing up and yelling. Although I had already admitted error to Daniel and apologized, I felt a huge weight on my chest, preventing me from breathing fully. I felt shame and failure, and I certainly knew that this moment would be later recanted by Daniel to some sort of educated figure in order to help him ameliorate all his adult issues, since they all stem from a mother’s mistakes anyway.

As I continued to drive, a scripture came into my mind, like a soft and gentle breeze:

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.-Philippians 4:8

True.

Noble.

Right.

Pure.

Lovely.

Admirable.

Excellent.

Praiseworthy.

Think about such things.

It was time to stop beating myself up for a mistake, for generally I would ponder some sort of mishap in perfect parenting for at least one full week. Instead, I am commanded to think about the good, avoid focusing on the bad. I messed up, no doubt, but what good is there in devouring my own spirit in the process? How will replaying the moment over in my head change the fact that is happened? It won’t.

In a Thriving Family article that interviewed Mary Beth Chapman, wife of  singer Steven Curtis Chapman, she was discussing life, their family failures, and their family loss, and was quoted as saying:

Our whole goal has not been to live [life] out perfectly, but to live it out struggling, live it out battling, and in the end, to just succeed in not letting the Enemy tear this family apart.

I’m going to fail, sufferings will come, mistakes will be made. I can’t think about those things though. Instead, I have to recount the joyful aspects in my parenting, the times I did what was right in the midst of a difficult or stressful moment, not cataloging the memory of a less than ideal moment front and center, available for constant reflection and haunting. I must think about the positives in my life rather than the negatives, the truths of Christ rather than the lies of Satan. If I don’t, I risk letting the enemy win.

And you know what, I’ve been trying to do that daily since. I encourage you to do the same for yourself.

Think about such things. It is quite liberating, really.

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5k Race Day

Thomas and I ran in a 5k race last weekend that was a fundraiser to help people battling cancer pay for medical bills. The event is quite large in number and full of emotions as well, for there are many runners that are running in memory or in honor of a person with cancer. Survivors even run and get a really cool neon pink race number to help them stand out from the masses. There is a massive balloon release where people let go of balloons that have the names of loved ones battling the disease or that have lost the battle tied to them.(Thanks to Alison for the picture below. The release actually takes place at the same time as the gunshot start, so no pics are being taken on my end at that time)

We ran in memory and in honor of many people we know and loved, but officially we were on the books for “Team Jimmy,” who just happens to be my cousin battling liver cancer.

Last year we ran this same race, which was actually Thomas’s first 5k ever. This year marked his second 5k, and he actually made quite an improvement! He shaved off over 9 minutes from his first time and set an official PR! (this is us, pre-race and then post-race)

I had a cold (still do–stupid snot!) but managed to win a medal. We (well, mainly me) were hungry though, so we skipped out before awards ceremony in search of food.

And no, neither of us ran with the stroller. The kids were just coralled there momentarily as we journeyed to the team photo spots, to the car, and such. It is seriously a big and busy race, so this was so helpful. My mom stayed with the boys during the race, keeping an eye out for us to finish.

After I finished though, both the boys tacked me with hugs, which was super great. About the time that I expected to see Thomas finish, I ran back to the home stretch to catch him, running a little bit with him to encourage him to finish strong. I cut off at the end so that I did not cross the finish line and mess up something with my chip timer. Next thing I know, I hear “Whew! Whew! (huff, huff)” right behind me. I turn around to find Daniel, so I asked him what he was doing “I am running the race, of course,” he replied. “Well where is Grandma?” I asked. “She is running too!” which was not true. Daniel had just taken off running and actually crossed the pads like an official runner, putting on the same show that he saw all the other runners do, huffing and puffing, wiping his head. It was really funny. I think that I might try and find a kids’ fun run for him to do soon after that little stunt.

All in all it was a great race. I am extremely proud of Thomas for his job well done. I hope he pulls off an even better time at his next 5k, which happens to be in a few weeks!

Nailed It

I saw this picture and I just can’t help but laugh, over and over again.

I feel like, yes, the images are funny on their own, but the words “Nailed It” make me laugh in the kind of way that causes you to snort. Too funny! I thank the cyber gods for randomly bringing this jewel to me.

In other news, to you folks that subscribe by e-mail or RSS feed, sorry for the recent yet not so recent post on my Nannie. My old blog server is no more and that was where I originally typed that blog entry. My mom had printed it out, from back in the day, and I wanted to still have my digital copy of it despite the server being gone, so I retyped it and post-dated the blog entry back to the start of 2008 when it was originally written. I didn’t think about it auto sending it to you, even though it did. And soon, I hope to remember Grandmama. I just still haven’t found the time to do it justice.

And yes, I realize I said “haven’t found the time to do it justice” in the same blog entry that shows you Cookie Monster cupcakes, which proves to you I have obviously just wasted time.

Nailed it.