Mile markers

We headed out early this morning for a walk on the greenway by our house. (I’m so grateful to have such a fantastic place to walk / run / bike so close!) I wrapped up little brother and big brother, daddy & I set out. Daddy is trying to get 10k steps a day in for an exercise challenge at work and we are helping. Going on a walk with a  preschooler is more of a “wander” than a “walk” but hey, exercise + togetherness = winning. 

Preschooler. Did you catch how I used that word instead of toddler? This is, in fact, my first official use of the term preschooler in reference to my firstborn. Crazy. 

We went to new parent orientation today at our new school. It was complete with name tags, donuts, k-cups and carpool maps. I could not be more excited-terrified-hopeful-anxious about this next step for our family. (Can I get an Amen out there, mamas?!) 

Big brother has no fears. He’s a Choleric (red) / Sanguine (yellow) so he just marches right in with a smile on his face. I love seeing it, but my mama heart isn’t quite ready to let go of my baby. 

I know their lives will be full of these moments. I carry them for 9 months and we are so close. They are born and I feel like I am always going to be living in the tension of letting them go and longing for that closeness again. My whole heart is walking down that hallway in his little plaid shorts. 

Big brother likes to stop at the mile markers along the greenway and trace the numbers with his fingers. I feel like I’m doing that too, and it’s a practice I hope I’ll keep. Stop at the mile markers when they come by. Pause. Savor. Look at how far we’ve come and look out at where we’re headed. Know where you are. Know where you’ve been & where you’re going. We even got to see some deer because we were being still. 

Not to be outdone, little brother cut his first tooth and discovered his feet today. Mile markers everywhere. 

How can you pause more, and contemplate the journey instead of just running through the to-do’s and busy days? Journaling? The Day One app is a good thing, or just get a moleskine and a good pen. Maybe just taking 5 min to sit and think. How often are you doing that? You never know what will come into view when you get still. Try something new and see how being intentional about your journey makes it sweeter. You might just find yourself arriving at a destination with a little more intention, and that’s the key. 

” Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” 

 -Moses from Psalm 90 

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Percentiles

Took my 4 month old & my 3 year old to see their doctor today. Well visits. Height. Weight. Vision. Ears nose throat. Fruits & veggies? Sleep? Milestone checklists.

Then they bring in the percentile charts.

Should I feel good about where they are?

I wonder.

What did it look like before the CDC, the WHO and the AAP told us the “shoulds”? What was parenting like without percentiles?

I went to a mom conference before my first was born. I was still working at the time. The speaker talked about how as moms we often let our kids be our reviews, or our report cards. She talked about how we shouldn’t do that. I had no idea at the time how difficult that would be.

I don’t know about y’all but I seriously judge myself by how my kids are doing. When the meltdown happens I wonder what I did wrong, and when he poops in the potty by himself I feel like there should be a crowd of people giving me a slow clap for my awesomeness.

So we got percentiles at the dr office and then we got facebook groups for every category of parenting. I had to quit social media for about a year because of all the madness that was on there due to politics. Other than the politics was the parenting craziness. Parenting on social media is almost as heated as the politics! Lots of judgement there. Breastfeeding vs formula, cosleeping vs cry it out, daycare vs stay at home mom. Lots of areas for judgement from other people, not to mention the self-inflicted kind.

Today I’m grateful for: healthy boys, a fantastic pediatrician and last but certainly not least a super amazing husband who is a spectacular father. I’m doing my best to define myself by who Jesus says I am, and not by my mom hair, yoga pants, Facebook status or percentile ranking.
What’s your mama guilt about? Where do you feel like you’re struggling with mamahood? I gotta tell you, you’re doing awesome. Don’t listen to those percentiles, and maybe stop following some of those groups on facebook. What if we were out in the old west, and didn’t have any of that? We’d be working hard, loving our kids and keeping our families fed. That’s enough. Love em hard & feed em.

Good job mama.

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Not a coincidence 

Today my amazing church started a series called “Voices”. The guest speaker was Jeremy Cowart. He’s pretty remarkable and he’s got a powerful story which he shared today. It’s about story; telling story through art & photography. It’s about the power & importance of story. It’s also about believing the Word when it says “I can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength”. Jeremy shared that his dad spoke that verse into his heart & mind. It is transforming Truth. 

What Jeremy’s story illustrates for me is what it can look like when we let go. When we live in and embrace the fullness of who God created us to be, and seek His face, he opens doors and get us involved in the work He is doing. That work is so much bigger than any silly thing I could come up with, and I’d much rather sign up for God’s design than my own. He has designed the solar system and the circulatory system, I’d say he’s pretty good at design. I can’t even organize my garage. 

It’s no coincidence that yesterday I start writing this blog and today I get this massive shot in the arm of inspiration. It may sound a little hokey to you but I like to think it’s Gods way of saying yes, you’re headed in the right direction, keep it coming, Leigh, keep it coming. 

When you look into the everyday of your own story where do you see the little hints and nudges from God? Where and when do you get your big inspirational moments? How do those things link together? I know, because I’ve done extensive research into my own story, that when you look at a map of your life you can see themes & trends. God is telling a story. You’re writing it, but it’s His. He owns everything. 

It’s not a coincidence. 

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What is Rooted Firmly

There are plenty of blogs out there. In fact, I myself have started plenty of blogs. They sit here in my wordpress menu staring at me. I have 100 new ideas a day. My strength is vision, starting things. My weakness is finishing. Will this project be any different?

I hope so.

Why?

I’ve had a change of mind. I call it a paradigm shift. I don’t see it as some kind of hobby or thing I am going to do in my free time anymore. I see it now as a stewardship. I know in my heart that I have something to say. 

I’ve been reading some of the stewardship parables in the Bible. I’ve also been studying the creation story in Genesis. I am doing a study called Five Aspects of Women. In the study I’m learning that I have been given things – time, talents, resources, circumstances, and a passion. These things are tools for me to use to complete the job I have been given. I will talk much more about these ideas in future posts, you can be sure. For today I’m just giving a little background.

My intention is for Rooted Firmly to be a blog about many things, but of one thing: Womanhood. I want to talk about life. My story, your story, our journey on this Earth. What is the point? How do we make it better? What about these questions in our hearts? What about the struggles and tensions of life? These are the things I want to discuss with you. I also want to talk about life. DIY’s and decorating. Children and marriage. (we can also talk about how i like to use fragments as part of my writing style) I hope to write about many things. We will see how it goes.

The idea of Rooted Firmly is about understanding what you are planted in. Your root system is your worldview – it’s what you believe. It lies underground, so you don’t always see it, but it impacts every aspect of you. I want to be Rooted Firmly in Truth. I want to bear fruit. I want to help others do the same.

Thanks for reading. 

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