Monday, February 28, 2011

I Can't

You know how we're taught that if we can't say anything nice, we shouldn't say anything at all? Yeah well, I feel as though saying anything nice or positive or even funny just isn't going to happen.

It could be the fever and cough and headache. It could be that once again hopes were dashed. It could be that I'm wallowing a little bit in that sour muck of self-pity.

But then isn't so bad. I'm reading a new book called One Thousand Gifts. The premise is that we need to be thankful for all of the little things instead of just using a blanket " I am thankful for all things." The author, Ann Voskamp, has a point.

So today when I could find all sorts of things to be less than thankful for, less than positive about and, if I'm being honest, a little bit, or a lot, bitter about, I realized that while life isn't happening the way I want it to I have a roof over my head and a full pantry, a husband who loves and honors me and children who are healthy-ish and pretty decent, mostly and those are huge HUGE things to be thankful for.

It was almost as if God reminded me in the midst of my lamentation that my needs were met, even if my wants and desires and dreams weren't happening. I am tired of that...much like the Israelites tired of manna. And much like them, if my own manna (food and shelter and family) all went away, I would be sorely sorry I didn't appreciate those blessings and all the other little gifts and blessings so easy to take for granted (or even become annoyed at).

So today I am not in a witty mood and I cannot say that I am full of positive things to share. I can say that I am thankful for hot showers to soothe headaches, The Husband who brought me ibuprofen last night when I was feverish, boys who have legs with which to run like maniacs through the house, dirty dishes that mean we had food to eat and a God who has a plan, even when I am clueless as to what it could possibly be.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Running With Clouds

You've gotta cry without weeping.
Talk without speaking.
Scream without raising your voice...

Running to Stand Still - U2

This song just sort of popped into my head this morning while I was wiping a spot off the kitchen floor. Not mopping the floor, mind you, just wiping up a particularly glaring spot. Apparently the cleanliness of the kitchen floor is most important in early morning hours.

I haven't heard that song in ages. But sometimes I do feel like I'm "running to stand still." (Not because of addiction, which is what the song is supposedly about.) I hesitate to confess this here but sometimes I do feel like I'm running and running and running to get to a place where I feel like it's Okay to stop.

But it's Never. Okay. To. Stop. So I pull up my big girl pants. I sleep in the bed I've made. I cry without weeping and talk without speaking. Sometimes I even scream without raising my voice. (Sometimes, not always. ;) )

I know this is all self-induced. I think that makes it harder. It's choices I've made and choices I continue to make...and second guessing the choices, too.

I'm not going to lie. Sometimes it would be nice to hop a flight out of here, run away from the spots on the floor and the dishes in the sink, the homework, the stuff demanding my attention even now as I sit and type with ear buds in.

But, if I ran away I couldn't run alone. There are too many people I love and care about in my life; the Husband, the Beasties, the amazing friends I've made.

And there's the rub....because part of what makes me "run" is caring for, caring about and serving these same wonderful people and also trying to nurture myself in the process.

I was created to live in community with others. That is God's purpose for me, and you and all of us. Sometimes I fall into a pit of despair. My floor is dirty, except for one clean spot. (I wonder if I'd mop more with that steam mop?) I have projects to complete. My children are growing up before my eyes.

And then, the Husband will come down to take care of the girly and send me back to bed saying, "I want to spend time with my daughter." A friend shares her knowledge and wisdom about how I can achieve a goal. Another friend emails just to check in. A boy throws his own laundry in the washer then the dryer and another starts picking up toys, just because.

I realize that I am not alone, because living in community means that I am not living and doing and serving alone. Everyone is "running to stand still" and the run is better because we can cheer each other on.

Sometimes it's Okay to speak and weep and scream. That way people know we're in need of a little, "Rah rah sis boom bah! You can do it!" (Sometimes, because if it's the norm, I think it's time to evaluate.)

Thank you, Lord, for giving me amazing opportunities to serve you and to be served by others too. We are blessed to give and to receive. Thank you for giving me the opportunities to run for You.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Hebrews 12:1 NIV


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

How Light?

Toast, lightly toasted. That's what *C* requested for breakfast. I would have taken a picture but the camera is driving through the Catskills with the Husband and the eldest boy. (They went College hunting but will be home this evening after hitting Troy and Boston)

So this lightly toasted toast is currently sitting on the counter. It is barely yellowed, it's so light. It is, however, "too crunchy". The 11 yo toast snob won't eat it.

There goes my tip!

As a rule I do not fight with my kids about food. I don't cook things I don't like and I do understand that they might have particular likes and dislikes. But he likes toast...usually. So today I put my foot down. I stood over the toaster watching to be sure this toast was just a smidge toasted. (That's dedication that deserves a 20% tip, don't you think?! Okay, I'll settle for a "Thanks Mom.")

He is going to eat this toast before he gets anything else to eat today. It's waiting for him on the counter. I better go cover it to protect it from dust and any flying objects. I have a feeling it might be there for a while.

Lord, I am not asking for opportunities to learn patience, I have plenty of opportunities, thank You very much. I could use some patience right now, though. I pray that the beasties never go hungry because they lack food, and that they realize they are abundantly blessed, even if it is with "too crunchy" toast.


Edited to add... after the toast sat on the counter for a few hours, he ate some. I realized that I was too interested in "winning". Instead of teaching a lesson about eating what is served we were in a war of wills. Not the intended goal. So, we agreed that from now on he will be making his own breakfast. Maybe that makes me a pushover. I don't know. I do know I will not be standing over a toaster to be sure the toast is "lightly toasted" anymore.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Was It..

I take this little space on the Web personally.

It's sort of like my journal. I try to be respectful and insightful and I put some of myself on the screen every time I sit down to write. What is on my heart is what comes up on the screen. That's the way I roll in blogland.

I enjoy the comments (Here and on facebook) and I like to see when I have a new follower. It's validation, those words of affirmation that I so crave.

The past two posts I've written were about acceptance. And the number of followers dropped by two.

Was it something I said? Really? I know I'm not the funniest. I'm not trying to be. I'm being myself. Sometimes I am funny. (Just ask me, I'll tell you.) Sometimes I'm serious. Sometimes, like today, I'm a Mama with something on my mind.

I guess I can't please all of the people all of the time. I guess accepting people just because they are people is pretty radical. I know it's something I have to work at every single day...because sometimes I roll my eyes so hard it hurts. When I am snarky, I feel so guilty afterward that I resolve to work harder at controlling my tongue and my thoughts.

I don't know what that makes me. I'm just trying to do my best to be a little better every day..a better wife, a better mom, a better friend, a better student, and last but certainly not least...a better than I was yesterday child of God.


Walk a Mile

This morning I had the opportunity to practice deep breathing, to stop and pray and think. What I wanted to do was write a scathing comment, but that wouldn't have stopped my hands from shaking...with hurt and fury.

I was feeling indignant, self-righteous and my inner Mama Grizzly came out.

Instead, I prayed for wisdom and understanding. Usually when people say ignorant things, it's because, well, they're ignorant about whatever it is they're speaking. They just don't know any better.

This morning as I was pondering what was on my heart to write about (pre-Mama Grizzly), I thought about something I read in a text about complex cognitive function. (Not in one of those "cookie" books.) You see, some people can only see one right way. They are simply unable to look at things as having multiple good answers.

I read this and thought, "I know people like that!"

These are the people that will try to "educate" you about the one best way to live, like them. And if you're not doing it their way, then clearly you are lacking in faith or wisdom or understanding.

So how does my little rant about ignorance play in? Sometimes people want acceptance for the way they live their life, even if it's outside the norm. However, sometimes the same people are unable to give the same respect and level of understanding to others who might be different in other ways, or on the other side of the issue.

For instance, I live outside the norm because I have more kids than most choose to. I do not, however, think everyone should be like me. (The zero population growth people just cheered. ;) ) It's a personal choice. We like kids, we wanted a large family. It is where our heart led us.

I chose to live this way and I know people will judge and make assumptions, especially if they have a "one way street" kind of thought process. Even if they do have a more accepting thought process, they may sometimes think it's humorous to joke about someone else who looks differently or speaks differently or lives a lifestyle that isn't in keeping with their norms.

Newsflash..just because it doesn't impact you, it doesn't make it right and there is NO absolutely zero zilch nada NO way that it is right or even very funny..unless you're ignorant to their situation and give no thought to what it's like to walk in their shoes. AND since no one can ever walk in another person's shoes, really...just don't think it's OK to ever, and I do mean ever, joke about another person's differences.

I try very hard not to judge people. I accept people where they are and I do understand that most of the time people have no idea their jokes are offensive. I am suggesting that before you joke about another person's "stuff" you think about what their stuff might feel like. Even if you don't know them.

If you walked a mile in their shoes, think about how sore your feet might get. And think about how much their Mama's heart might ache that she isn't able to carry the burden for them. (That's why my inner Mama Grizzly growled this morning.)

Lord, I pray that we may live in love and acceptance today and every day. If we can love as you first loved us, the world will be a beautiful place.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

No Trespassers

And the sign says "Anybody caught trespassing will be shot on sight"
So I jumped the fence and I yelled at the house, Hey! What gives you the right
To put up a fence And keep me out Or to keep Mother Nature in
If God was here He'd tell it to your face Man You're some kind of sinner

By the Five Man Electrical Band

Yesterday I was singing along to this song as I drove to school And I started thinking about all the ways people try to separate others from God.

Separation from God is sin, plain and simple and yet some religious people seem to look for ways that others are not good enough for God. People who are different are like trespassers to them. It's sad, really. While I know that God wants what is best for all of us, Jesus was pretty clear he did not want us to be judgemental. That whole, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone" thing is pretty clear.

A colleague of the Husband's at Seminary once said something like he would rather stand before the Lord and have to explain why he welcomed someone in than to have to explain why he kept one of God's children out.

Jesus ate with all sorts of people. The pharisees were busy judging who was good enough. Jesus healed people, even on the Sabbath. The pharisees were so busy being "Bertha better than you" that they lost compassion for their fellow man if it wasn't the "proper" time.

Jesus was pretty radical. He might have turned over the tables of the cheating money-changers in the Temple, but overall, he was accepting. Jesus wasn't worried about what looked right or who had the best image. He wasn't looking at labels and making "Keep Out" signs.

Jesus showed love and compassion, he ate and drank with outcasts because they wanted to be with him. Perhaps that should be the litmus test.

I think if Jesus were to make a sign, it would say, "God-lovers welcome." With no fine print.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Little Girls and Their Dolls

Miss M received two dolls for Christmas; one from us and one from her Godparents. Both of them are in her play pen and she likes to "talk" to them and snuggle them and give them very wet "kisses".

She has other toys in her playpen too. Plastic keys and teething beads and some sensory blocks, but she does love to hold and gum those dolls.

I had lots of "babies" when I was little. Perhaps it should have been a sign that I would someday have lots of real babies. I've got to tell you though, feeding Baby Alive is much easier than feeding a real baby. I never had to pry her fist out of her mouth so that I could put the spoon in. Miss M loves to eat, but she also likes to suck her hand between bites. And the diapers...Baby Alive just doesn't compare.

In our backyard, my dad and brother built me a playhouse that matched our house and I used to wash my babies' clothes and hang them on a little clothesline, when I wasn't pretending to be a Charlie's Angel flying off to somewhere exotic on my swing set jet. (I guess I was juggling roles back then too. ;) )

It's really neat to see my daughter snuggle a doll. It's not sexist. My boys had dolls too and it was nice to see each of them pretend to be a daddy. They were so loving and gentle..when they weren't dragging the doll around by one leg. There's nothing quite like watching a 3 yo boy try to "nurse" a doll. LOL

I wonder whether Miss M will like to build with Lego like her brothers do. Will she like math and science like they do? I don't intend to raise her differently, other than the dresses and tights and the tea parties. I wonder if she'll want to play tea party? Will she be a girly girl like her mom was? Will she like to play baseball like *N* or will she sing like *J*? She is developing her own personality but so much of who she will be is still a mystery from us.

But God knows. God has a plan for her that He planned even before she was born. I pray each day that we will be the parents that God called us to be, to each of our children so that they will grow up developing their unique gifts and talents, for math or science or music or baseball or whatever else they love to do.

The great thing about being a mom is watching these little people grow into what they were created to be. I imagine God likes watching each of us grow into whatever he created us to be too. Like one little girl with her dolls all those years ago...


Distracted Living

I realized yesterday that I have been engaged in "Distracted Living." It's what happens when you're trying to do too many things at once. We talk about multi-tasking. We joke about the fact that men cannot or will not multi-task. My friends and I say it with disdain, with annoyance, with a superior tone. Because, us moms, we can do it all and those dads.....

But I remember reading studies that multi-tasking wasn't truly efficient unless you're doing two rote and very cognitively simple tasks. Technically we're not multi-tasking we're "switch-tasking"-switching between two tasks which means we're losing accuracy and efficiency by going back and forth. It really does take time for our brains to go back and forth to perform the two tasks. Google it.

It really hit home for me yesterday when I was switching laundry from the washer to the dryer. (Totally rote and cognitively simple task, by the way.) I realized as I was sitting down to write here for the first time in a week that I should put the wash in the dryer. I logged on and then I went down to put the laundry in the dryer. I opened the dryer and realized there was a dry load waiting for me. I put it in the basket, and put the wet clothes in the dryer. Then I started the washer, added soap and put in a load of clothes; all the while thinking about what I was going to write. Not until I got to the top of the stairs did it hit me....I was washing the clothes I had just removed from the dryer. Duh! What a ditz! A waste of water, power, soap and my time..because with 6 kids I do a lot of laundry and now I was doing an extra load! All because I was going through the motions and not thinking about what I was doing. I was distracted.

This time the distraction wasn't harming anyone. I could have even saved my pride and not told anyone. Instead, I'm sharing my distracted self with anyone who happens to read this. It's altruistic of me, really. Think of all the ways we go through life distracted. We know the risks of texting or using our cell-phones while driving. But there are lots of ways that walking through life distracted, trying to do too many things at once, can be hurtful if not harmful and let's not forget about efficiency, accuracy or even common courtesy.

I am also guilty of half-listening to the Husband or the kids while I'm doing something else. The Husband will call me on it. I get annoyed, mostly because it's shaming to realize I am not giving my full attention to the very same people I would sacrifice everything for. So how about if I sacrificed the multi-tasking to be fully-present and in-tune to the things I'm doing?

I'm going to work on this one. Really. I think it's part of living intentionally. I don't want to go through life doing things half-way (or twice..those are some very clean clothes) because I was too distracted to be fully present in both mind and body.

I pray that we can find ways to be productive and present; fully living in the moment instead of thinking four steps ahead. I am fairly certain life will be more joyful if we can do it.

Down with Distracted Living! Up with Living Fully!


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Done...Almost..For Now

I'm not sure I really needed those carrots, but it did help clarify what I wanted and needed to do. I got to the task at hand! I have about two pages, give or take, left to write. The Husband was great about giving me the time and space I needed to get my work done. Thanks, honey!

First, I focused on my portion of a group project. Group projects are an interesting animal. You have to play well with others, negotiate, be assertive and trust others to pull their weight. It's a delicate balance. I have never done well with assertiveness. I either shy away completely so I don't make waves, (Like father, like daughter) or skip assertive and go right to aggressive witch with attitude. Apparently, I'm growing because I believe I was able to be assertive and trust myself. I also sought counsel from others I trusted to be sure I was on the right track. I know that this new found confidence will translate into other parts of my life as well as my future career.

After I sent my portion, I moved on to the second task. I had to write 13, yes, THIRTEEN, self-reflection papers. I consider myself fairly self-aware. I don't have a lot "stuff" hiding in the recesses of my mind and heart, but all that self-reflecting feels a lot like picking at emotional scabs. (Eeww, what a simile!) Nothing dark, but I did have some "A ha!" moments. I'm left with a sense of unrest, like I've muddied my waters a bit. I'd rather have left that sediment sitting at the bottom of the pond, but I did learn a little more about why I act and react the way I do.

Last week I started working out with the Wii Fit. It was a good time to improve my self-care habits. I really enjoy it because I can switch up the activities every few minutes and get a good workout. I did feel better physically and emotionally after exercising. (Unless the kids were at home. They gave me "pointers' which increased my heart rate in the wrong way. ;) )

Another way I took care of myself when I could have been a ball of stress was to pray and read the Bible. I finished up a Bible Study at church based on Lysa TerKeurst's book, Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl. This is an amazing book and I highly recommend it! Lysa TerKeurst has a wonderful down-to-earth way of speaking about her faith and about the Lord. She is an amazing witness, as are the women with whom I had the privilege of attending this study.

That has been my week. I was busy, but it was a good busy. I grew in many ways and did not let the stress eat at me. Oh and yes, I did read one of those "carrot" books. :)

I pray that as you face challenges and stress and all sorts of busyness, you find things to keep you motivated and grounded. Sometimes when I feel the most busy, it is a sign that I need to stop and breathe and pray.


Monday, February 7, 2011

My Carrots

Sometimes I need an incentive to get things done.

I have plenty of time and I've done the research in, but I have two projects due in the next couple of weeks and well, I have hit a wall, so to speak. I know what to do. I have the information. I have the ability and I really do have plenty of time (right now) to get it all done in fine fashion.

So why do I need incentives? Because without incentives, I fritter my time away on crackbook facebook, or flipping channels or any number of useless things instead of doing the neat stuff I really do want to do.

So today, the Husband and the two littlest and I hit the library. I absolutely LOVE
books and reading but buying books is just not part of my budget right now. Fortunately the library one town over gets all the good stuff I adore fairly quickly. The caveat is that some are 7 day loan books, so there is some urgency.

THIS is how a cozy mystery becomes a carrot. I know I want to read these books very much. (Well, there's one there that doesn't belong and it isn't going to act as a carrot unless I make an arbitrary rule that I have to read that one first but since this is supposed to be a reward, I'm not going to do that to myself, because I make my own rules in this reward scheme. ;) )

I must do a certain amount of schoolwork before I can lose myself in solving a murder mystery. There you have it. A very basic plan to motivate myself so that I'm not playing "Last Minute Stacey". I can do my best work in a timely manner, not over think or procrastinate and have some little rewards to look forward to in the process.

God doesn't dangle carrots in front of us to coerce us into doing what we should. No.! God gives us the promise of eternal life we don't even deserve because we've done nothing but love Him. I seek to do what I can to serve God because I am freed by his Love and sacrifice to do so. I guess sometimes I need incentives to do the other daily things, like homework.


Sunday, February 6, 2011

It's Not Mine

Some people have really cool, in my opinion, gifts. I look at Bakerella's blog and I ooh and aaahh and wish I could be so creative.

I look at all sorts of blogs and see some really creative, resourceful and funny people sharing their lives. And I think...of all the things I'm not.

I get inspired and learn a lot, but I recognize that I am not equipped to do some, or inclined to do others. It's not a value judgement. It just is.

I am O.K. with it...mostly. There are times when I wish I was more of some things (artistic, chic, patient....) and when I wish I was less of others (pessimistic, insecure, goofy....). But, I am who I am.

That doesn't mean I can't try new things and learn a few. I wrote here about my foray into watercolors. I've even tried my hand at decorating the kiddos' birthday cakes.

They are things I've tried but am not necessarily gifted at. If I practice, who knows what would happen? I might not cry when I'm trying to decorate a birthday cake eventually. (After the last time, the Husband gently asked if my desire to make *I* this "perfect" cake was worth the distress it was causing me. In my imagination, I can see what I want to do so clearly, why will my hands not cooperate?!)

I can appreciate another person's gifts and passions, sometimes even envy their results. That doesn't mean I can or should expect to have equally spectacular results. I just have different (still somewhat mysterious ;)) gifts.

I can stretch my limits a little bit and try new and different things. I can embrace the project and want to try really, really hard, but I still may not be able to do it. Instead of feeling low because I am not Bakerella, I am going to be happy just being me; the sometimes pessimistic,extra emotional, always blessed Child of God.


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Bold and Humble

I believe that I've written before that if we're talking "love languages" mine is words of affirmation.

However, I struggle with it too.


I have a love-hate relationship...with compliments. They make me feel good. Unless I wonder whether the person is "just saying" it to be kind, then I am filled with self-doubt and feel self-conscious.

I guess I don't feel worthy of the affirmation I crave. Doesn't make much sense.

I've been thinking about gifts a lot lately. We each are blessed with certain things we're good at. I do believe that. Yet, sometimes I find myself oh so uncertain of whether I really am good enough. (And to say I am "gifted" in a certain area, wouldn't that be bragging or showing off, and what if I'm not "all that"?!)

I try to err on the side of humility. I'm not fishing for compliments, but trying to walk humbly.

Jesus says in Luke 14:8-9 “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. (NIV)

That being said, how often do I not volunteer, speak up or believe in myself enough to share the gifts given to me by God? Humility is good, but sometimes I might better serve God and others by, in the words of Luther, sinning boldly. I am so afraid to be wrong, to speak up and appear foolish, to offend or be judged lacking that I say nothing.

I want to change. I want to stand up and be counted, be bold and brave and powerful. Did you hear that? I just roared. LOL. :)

My prayer for each of us is that we may discover and use the amazing gifts bestowed upon us by God. May we grow in wisdom and humility and strength so that instead of bragging or hiding, we may walk humbly and bravely, all the while glorifying God.


Friday, February 4, 2011

Choosing to be Full


We all have them. Really.

Sometimes we might feel powerless in a situation, but there are lots of little choices in the midst of every situation, don't you think?

Even in a situation over which I feel I have no control, I can still control how I react. But most of the time, I have more control than I admit. I can say I have no time to read this week, but in reality I am choosing to do other things instead. Sometimes the other things are equal in value and it's choosing which 'good' thing I want to do. Other times, I choose to do something less fulfilling and then I regret the choice, but it is my choice to make. Mine all mine.

I am not a victim of circumstance, although sometimes people do things that impact my life more than I would like. I need to take responsibility and also recognize I want to me more intentional about the choices I make...and then follow through. And I want to react better when it's out of my control..with more grace and forgiveness.

If I want to lose weight but keep eating the "Little League" chocolate bars (which do call me from their box on the counter, by the way) I am making a choice which probably isn't going to help me achieve my goal. If I want to have time to read, I need to choose to read and that might mean choosing not to do something else. (Like stepping away from the television or facebook.) Sometimes achieving my goals means saying "no", even to my children. They will be productive and fulfilled even if they don't have a bunch of extracurriculars. I have to make those choices and someday they will have to make them too.

I can choose a full life, but I can choose it on my own terms. It can be full of things that fill me up and use my gifts and most importantly glorify God or I can fill it with things that I complain about and that I believe qualify me for sainthood. I don't think that when we are called to use our gifts we are to suffer like martyrs to do so. (OK, sometimes it's not all sweetness and roses, but it needn't be all pain and suffering and lamentation either.)

So today I decided that when I make a choice, I will try to do so consciously and work a little harder at trying to live without regret. (A pastor once suggested I make choices that would allow me to live with least regret, I guess he made an impression.)

I pray for the strength to make good choices and the wisdom to recognize that I have the choice to live a full life on my own terms, regardless of circumstances beyond my control. I cannot do it on my own, but with the help of a free-will giving God who strengthens me.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

For Good

After two sort of angst-ridden posts I thought I should write something funny or at least something that doesn't sound like I'm cracking under pressure.

Good luck with that. ;)

I will not, however, write about "the car." Makes it sound like some possessed demon car. Hmmm....I hadn't thought of that possibility. We had a cat who only liked the Husband, could "the car" be like the cat? No, I am not entertaining that as remotely possible.

So about cracking...I have moments where I totally doubt my ability to juggle the kids, the school, the Husband, the volunteer stuff.

You've heard of The Peter Principle right? defines the Peter Principle this way :
n.The theory that employees within an organization will advance to their highest level of competence and then be promoted to and remain at a level at which they are incompetent.

On Sunday morning (Pre possessed car episode) I was getting a little stressed about the exam I was about to take because I felt I wasn't retaining anything and I had a little cloudburst. "What if," I sobbed into the Husbands chest, "I have Peter Principled myself?!"

He reassured me and then the exam was made a take-home (which would have saved me sooo much stress had it been announced the day before. :O ) and I really did know what I was talking about. At least I think I did/do. The grade I get on the exam will tell, but honestly....I get it.

But the reality of the matter is, I do keep adding things to my life; children, volunteer work, school. I do worry about reaching a point where I just fail. Failure is not an option but there is that nagging self-doubt.

What do you do with the self-doubt? Do you just not even try? Do you say you're content and find excuses not to take the leap, even if that's a defense mechanism? I think it's easy and safe to do that. I think there are many reasons to stay right where we are at any given time and that is O.K.. Really.

But, sometimes you've just got to move forward and do something and take a chance and make a change. Sometimes, it's going to feel like way too much. Sometime you're going to think a car is out to get you. Oh, that's just me. ;) Sometimes you're going to have to juggle and you might even struggle but God uses everything for good.

Don't forget that. I know I won't.