Friday, April 30, 2010

Wanting to live OUTSIDE of the 'box'

I haven't written in awhile on here - partly because I've been busy and partly because, given the content of my last post, I've been mulling/contemplating/marinating on a few things to say the least. One thing I've been really soul searching on is the idea of my purpose here. I believe that we're all 'wired' to have certain characteristics and gifts that we can use to do great things - so what's mine?? Still not sure some days. Sometimes I feel like I have a way with sensing someones mood which may/may not help me be compassionate towards others who are going through struggles. If I sense you're hurting, I want to help; if you're angry, I want to make you laugh so the anger subsides; if you have a problem, I want to help brainstorm a solution.

Maybe I'm too much of a people pleaser at times. . . . but maybe that's what I'm called here to do?? Of course there is the exception of pleasing/accepting things that are unjust, etc. because even helping others too extremely can lead to such problems as enabling someones bad habits, etc. That I am not so cool with! But I surely can be cool with being a chameleon of a servant - helping differently for whatever the situation calls for. ;)

One action I've been compelled to take is to find something where I can help on a larger scale then just what my family tries to do for our church. I honestly believe that we don't help out in our church and community enough! There are travesties all over the world and the most I do is watch the story on the news, comment how awful it is, and then go about my merry little life. That sucks and is totally selfish of me!

One of the pastors at our church, Riverview (, mentioned another pastor in Simi Valley, CA by the name of Francis Chan. I looked him up and came across his blog and this one post he displayed back in 2008 had me in tears. Check it out:

The excerpt under his youtube post said, "why is my life more valuable than this baby's? Someone asked me recently why I don't save money for emergencies, or retirement. My answer was how can I justify saving for myself "just in case" something happens to me when something IS happening to so many already. 29,000 kids will die today of preventable causes. If I'm to love my neighbor AS myself, why spend so much time worrying about me?"

Maybe it's time for me to live my life 'outside of the box' and put myself out there to do things that I normally hold myself back from out of guilt, fear, and selfishness! I have been blessed with so much and I believe that it's time for me to start putting my faith into action.
I just continue to pray that God gives me the strength and courage to do so!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Ready to leave Victim-ville. . . . . or do you plan to set up permanent residence there??

I recently started reading a book titled, "Bad Childhood, Good Life" by Dr. Laura Schlessinger. It's not the first book about dealing with childhood baggage that I've read but it still had me thinking of things in a different perspective. It's easy to point the finger at someone and blame them for how things have turned out in my life - trust me, I've done it many times! But it takes real maturity to realize my own doing in it all. . . YES, sometimes I AM at fault too. ;)

Let me elaborate by saying that growing up was not always easy. It's not something I readily share but to put it in a nutshell, both of my parents struggled with different addictions for many years while I was growing up. Though they are clean/sober (have been for many years), I've found in many instances of adulthood that my past, and my attitude towards it, has thwarted me in many situations - due to hurt, fear, anger, etc. I've done a lot of reading, soul searching and praying to get to a better place over the years.

But one thing that hit me in the book was when Dr. Laura describes our parents not as flawless individuals on pedestals; more so as adults with an 'inner hurt child' inside of them as well. I began to see them as 'human' per se, vs. this huge entity of 'parent' looming over me. They had hurts from their past as well and struggle with anger, fear, rejection, insecurity, feeling distant and/or not good enough. I'm beginning to look at them for who they really are and not what I've always wanted them to be. They may have botched things at times, and still do - lol! - but NO PARENT IS PERFECT! Sometimes it takes growing up and being a parent yourself to realize that. And there is a lot that they do get RIGHT! <3

Above the mistakes, and even through the times of joy, the one blessing my parents gave me was planting the seed of GOD in my heart! We went to church briefly when I was little and then stopped for years. But all of that changed when my mom suffered a brain aneurysm and almost died. She went through numerous surgeries and became a survivor! It was during that time that my dad prayed with me for the first time as I lay in bed - we prayed that mom would get better. Once my mom got over the surgeries and realized that the scars on her head resembled a 'J' and an 'M' (what we said was Jesus' Miracle), things changed. . . . not instantly, but they did change nonetheless.

So where do I fit in this equation and what about 'Victim-ville'?? Simple! I have two choices in life: 1) To continue to be angry from the past and take it out on everyone around me as I sit and marinate in 'Victim-ville' OR 2) I can move out of 'Victim-ville' into 'Reality-Land' where I realize that we are all flawed and regardless, there's something to be thankful for everyday!! GOD truly does have a purpose for us, whether we acknowledge it or not.

Whatever happened in the past is done now, PERIOD! I do have a right to be angry at things but I cannot spend my whole life angry and I realize that what happened in the past wasn't my fault. But the way I live my life now IS my fault. I have a lot of negative emotions that, when freed up, can be used for a better purpose and it's my choice to use them accordingly to help vs. hindering myself and to bless those around me.

My parents are good people and I love them with all my heart!!
And I've come to realize that it's time to leave 'Victim-ville' ;)

Monday, April 12, 2010

I'm SuperMom - I can do it all. . . . . just NOT today :-P

Ok, I'm gonna let you in on a little secret . . . I'm not perfect! YES, a travesty to all to admit such defeat, I know. I try many days to put on and maintain that 'I've-got-it-all-together' air but I can only withhold that mirage for so long before I begin to melt. Someone has to be truthful so here's my chance.

It has certainly been a hard juggling act going from SAHM (stay-at-home-mom for those not familiar with the acronym) to now working mom, and I don't even work FT! Besides, I've never been a real fan of actual juggling let alone life juggling. How do you FT working women do it!? Seriously - any and all tips are welcome! Though I've gotten the routine down a bit better now, there are still tough days and I believe this was one of them. Someone is missing something somewhere in my sphere of daytime/nighttime endeavors. For the most part, I can truck along and keep up the pace like a champ - a true SuperMom on her A-game. But when I come off the high of riding over the mountain peaks to the valleys of struggling with being overwhelmed, my whole outlook on things change. Should I do the dishes right at this moment or in 10 minutes from now? Can the floors go one more day without being vacuumed lest I find vegetation growing behind the couch? Do I need to get to work 15 min. earlier than yesterday, or stay 15 min. later? Add to that the never ending piles of laundry regurgitating from the hampers, constant 'Mom!?!?' chants from my little ones and endless days of breakfast/lunch/dinner routines!! Whew! Makes me tired just typing it all! :-0

Those mundane questions/concerns of routine begin to turn into more deep issues such as. . . Did I spend enough time with Caleb doing his homework? Will I be able to work in any 'girl' time with Seneca throughout the day? Did I take the time needed to refresh my relationship with my husband? Should I have given one more hug/kiss good night? My family are the ones that should matter most to me throughout my day, but again - I'm not perfect and I lose sight of that goal. Though there are winners amidst my day, someone has to lose out on something - i.e. my time, my patience and worst of all. . . my love. <3 It's not so easy to love when frustration, tension and crying kids come to greet you as the day is supposed to be winding to a close.

I've been on both sides of the fence - being that of Working Mom and SAHM. However, I believe that being stuck somewhere in between like I am now is more of a struggle. I'm not a FT worker and some days I don't feel like a FT Mom. . . I'm not a FT ANYTHING!! And I'm constantly pulled in so many directions and expected to be so many 'things' to so many people. It's exhausting and sort of like being in a triangular struggle between work, home and Ashley (but who has time for 'me' time anyways, right?!) and here I float somewhere in the middle of the vortex hoping someone will pull me back to sanity. :-P

I will end my ramblings with this quote from the Bible:
"A wise woman builds her house; a foolish woman tears hers down with her own hands" - Proverbs 14:1
I will try to make sure my daily goal is to build and no longer continue to tear down!

Thanks for listening :)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Blast from the past. . .

Awhile back I was cleaning out some papers, junk, and misc. items from under my nightstand when I came across my old poetry book from high school. I used to write a lot when I was younger since it was easier to write what I was feeling vs. sharing with someone. I tend to be a bit more private about those 'touchy, feely' emotions. But it's amazing as I read through the poems now - catching a quick glimpse into my teenage heart back then. So much tension, confusion, heartache, etc. while going through the motions of trying to find myself and love. I can't necessarily say that I've got it all figured out many years later, but at least I can still reminisce of how it was back then. . . .

Internal Conflict - written 10/1/96
Confused by all I feel
Reality seeming unreal
Confined by the past
Debating if this will last
Believing in who you are
Afraid to go to far
Immobile by your touch
Wanting it so much
Looking for a resolution
Knowing there's no solution

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

"Go Shorty, it's yo birfday!"

Well the day is slowly creeping upon me. . . . on April 11th. I'm not really that anxious or freaking out because I'll be passing the realm of the big 3-0. I didn't do a big bash last year for that milestone and this year will be no different. I must say that it isn't so much the number for me. It's all about the experience. . . what have I learned in the last year to make turning 31 worthwhile?! That's what matters to me. I'm not they type who will have a long bday list with jewelry, shoes, clothing, blah, blah, blah!
I told hubby and the kids that I'd be fine with sushi carry-out and a 6-pack, lmao!! YUP, I'm a simple gal looking forward to the memories that the time between age 31 and 32 have in store for me. :)

p.s. Hmm, maybe change that 6-pack to a 12-pack and we'll call it good! ;)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Easter Bunny works for 'The Man'!!

Yeah, that's right I said it!! The Easter Bunny is a total sell-out in my opinion and has turned this holiday into a consumerist vortex - like all the other Holiday icons! It's a total shame because the whole meaning of Easter is lost on a fictional critter running around dropping off eggs, candy, gifts, and more candy into our homes and distributing to our children.

Now let me just say that as a child I was totally a 'Team Easter Bunny' fan! What kid wouldn't be a fan of something/someone that drops off an overabundance of candy at your home once a year?? For me, Easter even rated above Halloween because at least with Easter, I didn't have to go out and peddle my own candy - Easter was a freebie!

But now that I've moved over to the parent realm of things, I don't see this event in the same light. I'm still a little fuzzy on how a holiday to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus = Cuddly bunny with candy??? Apparently, when googling some things (a new favorite past time - *wink*) I've come to find that the whole 'bunny' thing is a result of European and Middle Eastern pagan religious celebrations/customs of springtime fertility. WOW! Still can't see how it's connected to Jesus. But it looks like it's a common practice in many instances of history - you don't like something about religion so what do you do?? . . . . you go, incorporate your own watered down, irrelevant customs and call it something totally different to accommodate your own selfish beliefs/wants/etc.
So what does this mean for the modern day 'Easter Bunny'?? An annual holiday slathered in an endless array of candy, candy, candy, BUY, BUY, BUY! . . . . oh and of course Easter ham, coloring eggs, and a plethora of other Easter items on sale at your disposal - like at Wal-Mart where you can get $2 bags of candy. *sheepishly grinning at my own guilt*

YES - despite my cynicism on the whole event and my aversion to continually feel obligated to spend more money than I'd like on my little munchkins - it is still a slightly fun holiday. I am still reluctant to admit - but sometimes I am guilty of all the consumerism that shrouds the meaning of this holiday (and even Christmas) but that doesn't mean there's no hope for me. . . or you. ;)

This Easter Weekend is as good a time as ever to make sure I'm instilling the real meaning of the holiday and sharing the sacrifice and blessings that Jesus gave to us all with my children. Maybe along the way, I'll grow in my own faith and need the security and chocolate that comes along with the Easter Bunny a little less next year!!