Really, that's all I can say about the last week since I wrote these posts. I guess that this time in my life is going to be challenging for awhile! I have had several little health scares this past week that have pretty much flattened me. I definitely feel humbled. I hate to say it, but it's really been good for me and for my family. Going through what I am going through right now has really made me stop and think (especially since I haven't been able to do much else - just ask my messy house, empty fridge, kids who played more Wii this week than they have their whole lives, you get the idea) - think about my life and what's in it even more than I already had. Think about my faith in the Lord - I guess I have been taking it for granted and in doing so it's weakened a little...only to the extent that I am having trouble just "taking the plunge" pertaining to a couple different situations, but that alone to me is enough to know that I need to step it up a notch and do what I need to do to fix that. Think about the way I talk to myself and treat myself. And the list goes on.
I thought I had simplified before, but this week I had to simplify more than I ever have before. I'm not sure how I feel about it - on one hand it's kind of a relief and definitely more relaxing at times to just let myself begin to unwind the tight knots I seem to have inside me - but on the other it feels a little unfulfilling and I feel somewhat lost. I've never been here before, wherever it is that I am. But I think it's good for me. I've learned to really stop and listen to the people around me that are giving me lots of good advice right now. I've learned to receive from those same loving people who have given me so much support, love, and help. I didn't realize how very independent I've been trying to be, but now that I do, I think it was a little too much and it was definitely a pattern I needed to break out of.
This is probably confusing, but I am still trying to sort all this out for myself. What I am feeling right now is still so raw, so new, and unfamiliar. But it's also good, and I want to remember, so I'm writing it all down.
1. I need to take more breaks. I need to remember to stop and give myself what I need. Sometimes that's a date with Wes, sometimes it's a snuggle with my boys, sometimes it's sunshine, sometimes it's exercise, or a girls' night, or a new project, or even a nap. I'm getting better in this area, but there is still room for some improvement.
2. I need to accept help from others and not feel guilty about it, and not be angry at myself for not being able to do everything myself. I am surrounded by people who love me and want to help me when I need it. My job is to accept that help graciously and gratefully and without guilt when it's offered. There is no such thing as a person who never needs help. I truly delight in my ability and desire to extend help to others whenever I can, so I should assume that others are the same way - why do I make this so hard?
3. I need to make more time alone for Wes and I. Slowing down even more has made me realize how very fast we were going at one point. That was fine then, but right now, we have a lot of big decisions and stresses in our lives and one of the best things we can do is continue to nurture our relationship. We are a good team, and very strong together, and I think that if we stay strong and happy together then we can withstand the storms life decides to throw at us. When I've had time with Wes, to give my love to him and let his love in, I feel comforted and so much stronger and more capable of handling the challenges I face in my life. Having him with me makes any experience have so much more meaning and love come from it. He is my hero.
4. Even though I am a grown-up, sometimes I still need my parents. And they love me more than I realize sometimes and willing to do whatever they can to be there for me. And they still give great advice that I cherish and learn from.
5. My kids still love me even though I am not perfect. I always try to be a deliberate mother. I know what I want my kids to learn and feel and experience in their lives. I know what I want them to be equipped with in order to weather the storms of life. I want them to know how fiercely devoted and in love with them I am, that I would do anything for them. But some days I have more to give than others, and that's okay. They probably won't even remember the bad stuff later on because when I think back to my childhood, I really only remember good stuff for the most part. Kids are forgiving, resilient beings and there's lots of good reasons for that, one of them being that sometimes moms can do more and sometimes they can't.
6. I need to learn to adapt sometimes. I am a problem solver. I have always prided myself in taking the bull by the horns. I have always been willing to own my mistakes and shortfalls and then begin working on improving them. But sometimes I can't just fix things....I have to surrender and adapt my life and myself to the situation and learn from it and find the good in it.
7. I can never have enough gratitude. I have always tried to keep this focus in my life as well, but I have been humbled once again to realize how many things I still take for granted day-to-day and my heart just swells with gratitude and awe for all the many, many blessings I really do have. I don't know how I got so lucky, but I could never find the words to describe my gratitude.
8. Even the tough stuff in life is precious. Even during the challenges in life I face, there are still so many, if not more than usual, sweet, precious moments that completely take my breath away.
9. If I slow down and listen to myself, I know more than I think. Sometimes I over analyze things. I truly believe our bodies are spiritual since they are housing a spirit, and when I stop and listen to mine, I know what I need. Sometimes it's rest, sometimes it's sunshine, or laughter, or to not worry about this or to worry about that. It's always right, and when I forget to listen or don't follow what I'm feeling, I tend to finally give in and do whatever it was I thought I needed to and then I regret now doing it earlier. Same goes for my thoughts and my spirit. I know what I need, and I need to accept and obey that better.
10. I can do it. I can do whatever I put my mind to, even when things seem so daunting and overwhelming, I truly am capable of conquering and enduring.