Motherhood and marriage isn’t always pretty. Our social feeds have become highlight reels and sometimes it makes me cray-cray because we all know full well, that’s not real life. 🙈 For you Mama’s who are having a rough day, week, month, season, enjoy reading about the morning I recently had… and feel slightly better about life.
I started off the day hitting snooze one too many times (and by one too many I mean 742 too many). In the bathroom, tensions rose when Hubbz was forced to maneuver around me taking up most of the space, shaving my leg over the sink while brushing my teeth. It doesn’t help my cause that when I get ready in the morning it can tend to look like a hurricane of makeup and hair product hit our bathroom (what can I say… #29Forever). The environment was prime and ready for a marital bump in the road and needless to say, I got into a disagreement with Hubbz. Even after spending 16 years together, two people don’t always agree on everything.
Hubbz left for work annoyed and in a huff and I moved on to a very upset toddler whose diaper decided to explode a nights worth of pee and a fresh morning poop EVERYWHERE. When I say everywhere what I mean is everywhere. All over him, the crib, my work clothes and yes, some in my freshly done hair. #sweet I did my best to clean him up with wet wipes but realized I was doing more smearing then cleaning. Also, I might add, while I was in the midst of doing more smearing than cleaning he decided that now was the best time to reach down and see if he could help… or maybe he just wanted to be a boy and grab his junk. Either way, I ended up with a poop covered hand hanging on to my forearm. There are moments in life when you realize you are fighting a losing battle… his poop covered hand on my forearm was that moment.
I’ve learned in life, sometimes when things aren’t going as planned we are forced to pivot. I took that as my sign to pivot… right to the bathroom and I put him in the bathtub. I, along with most of the bathroom, ended up drenched when he lost his bananas because this was definitely not part of his morning routine and though he loves baths he wasn’t interested in one this early (I can’t entirely blame him for feeling that way. I get it.) By only the grace of God, we got out of the house in one piece and neither one of us smelling like poop.
Our departure from home was a great accomplishment until ToddlerB screamed all the way to Starbuck’s because sometimes being 21 months and having your routine severly jacked up is hard. While I waited in an extra-long line that just so happened to decided to take 17 hours that day, he screamed and carried on. I tried every trick in the book and it wasn’t until I began putting his window up and down looking for imaginary birds and chickens that he stopped. Don’t ask me where the chickens came from- it was all I could think of plus, it worked. #littlewins I dropped #ToddlerB off at daycare where he instantly became a normal functioning human and even waved and blew me kisses from the window. I think he was casually saying “So long, Sucker!!!” I cried most of the way to work and spent the morning beating myself up because #momguilt and #wifeguilt are real things.
Sometimes as women with marriages and children and careers, we question if we really can have it all. We question what it takes to hold it together and if we’re really even capable of that. In case you were wondering, the answer to all of those questions is, YES!
Yes, you can have it all!
Yes, you can hold it together!
And, hell yes, you are capable!!!
Just in case no one has told you lately, we are more than capable… we are conquerors!
Mid-way through my day I paused because I couldn’t shake the mom guilt and wonky mood. I busted out some Jesus and read the days scripture. “I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand I will not be shaken.” (Psalm 16:8) I almost facepalmed myself for forgetting that truth but instead I took it as a gentle reminder. I was reminded that in my morning- in each moment that seemed to get worse and worse, I forgot to keep my eyes looking up. Sure the situation wouldn’t have changed but maybe I would have gone through it with gratitude, peace and even a little laughter. I called to mind that I get to share space with Hubbz each morning. I get to hear his very wise point-of-view on things. I get to nourish and raise a little boy with a very healthy digestive system. I get to make up silly games with him while we wait in long lines for delicious caffeinated beverages. I get to bring him to a place where he is loved and cared for everyday while I get to work in a place that I love and fulfills me. By keeping my eyes on the Lord, nothing about my morning would have probably changed, yet everything would have changed.
A long time before BabyB ever made his appearance, Hubbz and I vowed to love each other and raise our babies to know Jesus. This is where the rubber meets the road. In our marriage and in Mommyhood, we are in the midst of the moments that will matter. I take a deep breath (and thankfully no longer smell toddler poop in my nose holes.) I can rest assured that so long as I am living with my eyes firmly on Jesus, he hears me, he sees me and he’s got me… I won’t be shaken by what comes my way. Sweet Mama’s, without a doubt in my heart, this applies to you too. In the moments when the rubber is meeting the road, it’s hard to remember. Keep your dope soul focused on Jesus and you won’t be shaken by the life that comes your way.
PS… I just realized that I now have a baseline morning… no matter how bad it gets from here on out, hopefully I will always be able to look back and say “at least it wasn’t as bad as that one morning.” Maybe that’s wishful thinking but a Rookie Mommy can dream, right?!
Tonight finds me settled in on our deck, Toddler B fast asleep and Hubbz out running errands. My tiny fur-ball is curled up on the patio chair next to me and I am reading a book. I can feel the setting sun warm my bones and a solid wind blowing from the south. (Thank you, countless summers of caddying loops at our local country club for my directional knowledge.) 😉 It’s summer in The Mitten and for a girl who prefers a cold, crisp fall day, I do have to say, it’s absolute p-e-r-f-e-c-t-i-o-n. (also, it was super annoying writing perfection that way- I digress.)
Lately, my free time has found me writing my book- and by writing I mean sitting down to write and then coming up with all the things I need to be doing instead of writing. I am not a procrastinator but for some reason when it comes to writing my book I can give you a list of 783 things that I need to be doing instead. I don’t entirely know why this is a thing, but it is. When I am not writing, I have been reading. I am a Gemini with a mind that can overthink something seven ways to Sunday, and because of this I have taught myself to have a voracious appetite for a great book… otherwise I get myself in trouble.
My current read was given to me by a writing mentor that I met with recently. She showed up with an armful of new books for me to read. Nestled into one of the pages was this beautiful line by E.L. Doctorow, “Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”
Does that hit anyone else right smack upside the head like it does me?! I don’t know about you but when I apply that to my life, it gives me permission to breath… specifically to exhale. It gives me space to not have it all figured out. So many times I strive to see the whole pie when all I am given is a slice. This little snippet of wisdom I uncovered in this book was just enough of a reminder that I don’t have to be able to see the entire path. I only have to see enough of what is in front of me to be able to take the next step, and the one after that, and the one after that.
The sun is starting to fall deep on the horizon now and the air is feeling mighty cool for a summer night. I take a look at the baby monitor- Toddler B is tucked in for the night and Hubbz should be home any minute. I start to have a little peace around the fact that I don’t have all the answers on this side of Heaven. I just have to know enough and be brave enough to take the next step- even when I can’t see the whole road or even where it goes.
I exhale and feel a stillness in my body. The tension I had about things in life that seem unresolved isn’t entirely there anymore. There’s nothing hanging over my head to figure out.
It’s just this moment.
I sit back in my chair and exhale.
Just as the sun slips beyond the horizon.
All we have is this moment, Friends.
Just this moment.
An event happened in my life recently that caused me serious angst. The event itself isn’t important but the emotion around it and what it revealed is profound. It’s in this emotion that healing and a little revelation happened. It changed my perspective and it’s my hope that by sharing it, maybe it will help you in whatever you are going through right now. In true “life out loud” fashion, here is a glimpse into my psyche.
God, I just can’t even with you right now.
By the time I reach the highway my emotions went from sadness and hurt to bat-shit, cray-cray anger… Cute, I know.
God, I am S-U-P-E-R-D-U-P-E-R mad at you and by S-U-P-E-R-D-U-P-E-R mad what I mean is that this is bullsh*t.
And there I drove, for the next 26 miles, having a knock-down, drag-out fight with God. My end of the conversation went on for longer than I would like to admit and the God of the Universe stayed silent… He wasn’t ignoring me- I think He was just waiting for me to shut up… I didn’t. I was in a horrible mood the rest of the day. I went through the motions of life wrestling with my feelings. Balancing being a grateful, fun, happy Mommy and Wife with a realization that in life, 100% of the time, though I pretend I am super in control, I really don’t know how any of this is going to turn out.
Later that night,
Baby Toddler B is fast asleep and Hubbz is at basketball. I lay in bed with a book I am reading. I come across the story in the Gospel of Mark where Jesus calms the storm. Jesus is in a boat with his disciples. A storm rages but Jesus is asleep and the disciples freak out. They wake him up and say “Teacher don’t you care if we drown?” Jesus gets up and calms the storm completely. He looks at the disciples and says “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” #DropTheMicJesus
I literally sat up in bed and put my hands over my face. I took a deep breath and shook my head at my humanity.
One little word in Jesus’ response pierces me right in the gut of my soul. “Do you still have no faith?” STILL? After everything He took us through- a marriage that fell apart then put back together, infertility that broke my soul then healed it, a career and education journey that I still can’t believe is my story- did I still have no faith? Jesus may have been talking to His disciples but the words he spoke so long ago echo true to me… I felt like through this story he was saying “Desireé, dear girl, do you still have no faith? After everything I have carried you through, do you still have no faith?”
Jesus has the power to calm the storm… ANY. STORM. He has the power to calm the raging storms that threaten to capsize our lives. The ones that come out of nowhere and the ones that we see coming from a mile away. The ones that seem too big to handle. The ones that we don’t think we can get through. That thing that keeps you up at night stealing your joy and sleep. The thing you fight with your spouse over. That thing with your kid that you just can’t get right. That thing that worries you in the back of your mind through your workday. Jesus is powerful enough to calm the storm. He’s waiting for us to call out to Him so He can show us His glory.
Jesus is in the boat… WITH. US. I almost fell out of bed at this realization. I also felt so foolish. How is it not ingrained in my soul that Jesus is in the boat too? OF COURSE He is in the boat. He is there every single step of the way. In good and bad. On the mountain top and in the valley. He is there. The God who made us will never leave us or forsake us. He is the Jesus that carried us through the moments when we couldn’t carry ourselves. We never have to look beyond the boat to find Him. He is always with us- until the very end of the age.
I take a deep breath and lay back in bed. I click off the light on my nightstand and I close my eyes. As I lay there in the dark I can feel a peace come over me that surpasses my own human understanding. God’s got this.
My sweet friends and loyal readers, you know that thing that is nagging at your soul? That thing, that situation that keeps you up at night? The thing in your life that you try to hide and keep secret? The thing you know that if people found out, your cover would be blown and your life would never be the same? That thing- that situation- that if it would just go away and resolve itself, your life would be great… I promise you friend, as sure as I am writing these words, God’s already got it. All we have to do is lay it at the foot of the cross. It sounds hokey and weird… I get it! I thought that once too… Until I hit rock bottom and realized in a last-ditch effort that all I could do was lay my junk at the foot of the cross. Know what happened? God showed up. Apparently sometimes he’s just waiting for us to relinquish control from our bloody-white knuckled grip we like to have on life. He waits patiently while we rant at Him. He waits patiently for us to shut up… when we finally do, we make room for God to show up. He’s already in boat with us. He’s already in our lives along for the ride. All we have to do is keep the faith and then call on Him.
I hope today you hear something in this for you.
Maybe even a tiny truth that resonated with you.
Maybe a tiny truth that will take root and one day set your soul free.
This post was written a year ago and has been sitting in my “pending drafts” folder because #life, #husband, #child, #job (pick any one of them… if you are adventurous, pick all of them.) A recent shift in life priorities has offered me more time to write (you can read about that here.) I offer this post with a better late than never sentiment attached to it! Enjoy!
There is a hobby that I have loved since childhood and I am kind of embarrassed to admit it. In the spirit of the whole “be transparent, life out loud” mantra, I am forcing myself to share it… Are you ready?
I don’t really, entirely know how to tell you this so I am just going to go ahead and say it…
I sometimes enjoy putting together puzzles – And by “sometimes enjoy” what I mean is that I friggen’ love putting together puzzles. Also, they make me giddy.
Possibly weird, I know.
You might think this factoid about me basically means I am super lame… Whatever, Bruh. Before you judge me, hear me out.
I come from a long lineage of professional puzzle constructors. My grandma and grandpa did puzzles and my Ma herself has laid down the pieces to many a puzzle. I remember growing up helping Grams and Gramps on their latest masterpiece. We would sit at the table in their basement and sort through thousands of tiny pieces. If I close my eyes I can still feel the shag carpet between my toes and smell the amazing smells of Grams’ house. We must have put together thousands and thousands of little jagged pieces. I was such a Rookie at the time but years of practice has paid off. I basically I have a PhD in puzzle constructing now. You can have my autograph if you want.
There I was in Target, minding my own business on an outing with my little man. What caught my eye as I was gallivanting through the aisles was the phrase “The 1980s”.
Why hello sexiest decade ever.
I kinda smiled.
I kept going.
I stopped again.
I went back.
I picked it up.
I put it down.
I picked it up.
I put it in my cart.
I was made in the 80’s.
Who was I not to do this puzzle?!
1000 pieces. Enough to be a challenge while keeping me engaged. I already had a game plan for putting it together before I reached the checkout line. Start by putting together the phrase “The 1980s” and work out from there. Find the corners, separate the edges from the middles. A little MTV, a little JFK, some Maverick and yes, Mr. T… That A-Team tho!
Back at home, I got baby boy down for his nap and I unboxed the puzzle. I was giddy with excitement. Each piece I sorted through offered a little childhood nostalgia. I came across a Rubik’s Cube and put it off to the side. I found some Run-D.M.C. next and before I knew it the Rubik’s Cube and the Run-D.M.C. pieces fit together. After that came a Mac Computer and some Adidas Superstars (swoon). That was followed by Cheers, Blues Brothers, some Dirty Dancing, a little Michael (both Jackson and Jordan) (double swoon) and of course Rocky…
It is here that I pause my writing to offer some wisdom. I urge you disconnect from the world and destress via a puzzle… Preferably one that reminds you of all the amazing things from your childhood. Just sitting and sorting the pieces thinking about zero things beyond the moment I was in. No phone calls, no emails, no texts pinging, no red notification badges or banners popping up to distract me. Just me and the 80’s and a trip down memory lane. I got all ZenAF with the puzzle. I think we had a moment.
As I was constructing this new puzzle, a thought occurred to me and my ego laughed at the irony. Sometimes in life we are sure of the path we are going to embark on. When I picked up that puzzle box, I knew exactly how I thought it was going to go. I had a plan in place to ensure my success. As soon as I opened the box, my plan became as jumbled as the thousand pieces that laid before me. Isn’t that just like life sometimes? As I sorted through them trying to make sense of the big picture, piece-by-piece little vignettes started fitting together to make the whole. It became clear to me as I nostalgically trekked through the 80’s that more times than not, our best laid plans are nothing like what actually happens in life. Sometimes they end up being just that- best laid plans. Something to pivot from, something to learn from, something to grow from.
Don’t have a cow though.
It’s not all grody-to-the-max.
Sometimes, it ends up totally rad and bad-to-the-bone.
I pity the fool who doesn’t agree. 😎