Tag Archives: mom

If this child was born today.

Mom labelHappy Sunday!
Today I was a part of a beautiful Christmas program of song.. Of course my part was talking. Here is my little talk I thought you all might enjoy…

If this Child were born today–

The population of Jerusalem, at the time of Christ, was 40,000. Because of the tax decree and Passover, the population had swollen to a quarter of a million.The population of South Jordan is 60,000. (The town I live in)
Then, like us, they were caught up in the pressures of the day. They had no Kitchen Aid to help them prepare the Passover bread. Wives had the in-laws over, and felt the pressure of a mother-in-law’s gaze assessing her domestic skills. The husbands were pulling overtime as the town was over run with tourists. If they had had access to it–the out-of-towners would have been on Yelp figuring out where they could eat, complaining on social media and the lack of accommodations and over crowding. Undoubtedly, they would have left bad reviews on Travelocity.
They were focused on their comforts, jobs and other’s opinion of them, just as we are today. Tucked into our lives, we are comfortable and only worry about what others think of us Perhaps that is why the angels came to shepherds and not politicians..

Sheep herding used to be a noble profession, but after captivity in Egypt, the Jewish people adopted the view of those around them. The Egyptian’s idea was that shepherds were lowly, dirty and without influence. It was a lowly position like how we may view a Hell’s Angel biker. These shepherds were uneducated, mere hired hands watching sheep which were not even theirs. They were so lowly that they were not permitted to attend temple services—they literally were not able to go to church. Their profession was viewed as low as a dung sweeper or a tax collector!

So, when a baby was born in a meager manger, just a feeding trough for animals, the rulers of the land didn’t come. Sheperds, the low of the low, fell on bended knee, worshipping.

Wise men did come. After years of searching, they watched for the signs– they looked. They asked, “Have you heard of the Christ Child? Have you … have you? We have seen the signs!” They shared with all who would listen–even Herod. On bended knee, their silken robes pressed into the dirt, they offered gifts that a carpenter’s family would never be able to possess.

When the time came to flee into Egypt, how did they fund their travel? Perhaps through the wise men’s gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, the very temporal needs of daily life and relocation were answered.

They couldn’t offer the little family protection from those that would kill for political power or governmental control over men and wealth. Those forces overlooked the humble birth because of social class snobbery. You see they weren’t like ‘us’. The religious leaders overlooked the Christ; because He didn’t preach of war craft to over throw oppressors. He preached of peace, of the human heart, of forgiveness and of forsaking worldly wealth and power. All to be given when needed to serve God. He told them to leave behind their daily concerns for heavenly ones. The answers given were not popular–the media channels in Jerusalem didn’t put Christ on the front cover as Man of the Year. He wasn’t flashy, his followers didn’t even hold down jobs. The Jewish people missed the Messiah because they wanted a leader who would take away ALL their problems which suppressed them. They did not want a leader who said that by faith you will walk through your challenges and promised the way would not be easy. But it would be worth it.

They wanted a quick fix, soooo much like us today. Do we over look Christ’s message because it isn’t the answer we want? We see life tidy, in plot lines and look to gurus and Google for answers. Our society twists facts to fit the answer it wants, while ignoring God’s law and mocking faith as ignorance.

Why not use some kind of mass communication to brand the message and take control of the story line; get ahead of the opposition party! Wouldn’t that have worked better? ‘Like’ today’s post on Facebook or Instagram! Oh wait, that could turn ugly fast as people slandered Mary and let King Herod know the exact location of the Christ child.

God doesn’t work in mass announcements. He works quietly to the heart of each of us. He works with the lowest of the low. He works with us in our lowest times. When we are hurt, afraid, rejected; is that not when we hear the Angels sing the loudest? We want gifts that sweep aside our worldly concerns. Yet he builds us stronger through refining us and lifts our load with us. Is that not when we look up and see the signs of Christ’s light illuminating our path through the darkness of doubt? Do we await the dawn of redeeming Grace?

When we stand outside the false warmth of other’s good opinions, we can behold God’s Son touching our hearts.

Would we behold God’s Son? Would we hear the Angels sing of Peace,Comfort, Joy, Compassion, Redemption?

God calls to any, and all, who will believe. He asks us to testify one on one–will you? Will you? When we are busy with life’s pressures will we hear the Angel’s call? We are no better than a shepherd in Christ’s time. We parents have been asked to guard that which isn’t even ours. We are merely hirelings asked to spread the good news.

The lowest of the low and the wisest of the wise sought out the Holy infant. Will we be among them? Would we praise with Grateful hearts? It is my testimony that the Gift of the Savior is enough for our darkest day, our heaviest burden, He is the light. He welcomes all–even you and I.

 10500483_10153847249977490_4804038506851638201_n

Happy Birthday, Katelynn!

Mom labelHappy Birthday to my baby girl Katelynn!!

Nathaniel and Ailsa yelled out “Happy Birthday Katelynn” excitedly seeing the balloons marking birthday: they are thrilled to see how their April Fools pranks are going. I got a bowl of salty cereal. They got me good. Grilling me on what surprises are to come, it’s a happy morning with more happy things on the way. I got some good kisses, perhaps because of that mouthful I swallowed with good humor. There were hugs, a prayer and they are out the door to school happy. That is what we want. You will hear laughter in the Greene house today.

22181_10153228924937490_6609426676569775284_n   Any mom knows that feeling when you first look in your baby’s eyes; it can’t be explained, its beyond description the love you feel and the recognition that a piece of your heart is always theirs. Katelynn would be six today. I can tell you that six years seemed impossible, yet here we are not only moving forward but happy. We are not happy she is gone, but happy that she ever came. Happy that I am her mom. Happy, and as funny as this sounds, that I am sane. Really, when I was first approached to write a book about Katelynn, my main concern was that I may be crazy later on, broken in despair. I am not, we are not, because we choose to be happy.

People tell me, “isn’t it a comfort to know where she is?” Yes, it is, but not really.
She is my baby. She is supposed to be here with me; I’m supposed to be crying over her first day of Kindergarten, not crying that my heart still wants to hold her… I could go down that path of bitter loss, but I won’t. That is not hotness. What does bring me comfort is that death has not changed that I am her mother. I am still Katelynn’s mom. I am Nathaniel’s mom. I am Ailsa’s mom. I am their mom.
That brings me comfort.
That gives me strength.
That brings joy.10628539_10153228923142490_6338132614852442895_n

She is learning as I am learning, teaching as I am teaching—we have an interaction. She sees me at my worst and my best; she sees me as none of my living children can. I joke that out of my three children she is the most demanding of my time and talents.

Here is the problem we moms have. It’s not easy giving our kids what they need, day after day, year after year. We wonder if we can do it. I wondered when Katelynn was placed in my arms if I could see her endure the life she had before her. We knew it wouldn’t be “normal” and it wasn’t. We never imagined it would be so short. Your mind just doesn’t go there, it can’t 11070394_10153228922207490_3783979523607177540_ocomprehend. Here is something odd: I still can’t comprehend it. I am in awe that six years later we still doing so well. I wish I could say its because I am just that awesome. Yep… I am that strong. But, I am not.
I pleaded, bargained, begged and agonized, searching for a different way than a life without her.

I want to be a good mom. I prayed for strength. That prayer uttered a thousand times has been enough; it’s become a habit I don’t even have to swallow hard to say. I thank God in every prayer for the comfort and guidance he gives us. I wonder if my husband even hears that line anymore that I have said it so many times. God does hears it, however.

My husband and I have talked many times in awe of what God has done. It’s not us. We were like two riders holding on to bucking horse hoping it would be over soon.

What you see the public me, I wouldn’t be the same without Katelynn. I had no ambition to be a speaker, to up my game in my makeup business. I was perfectly content to raise my kids, but I wanted more. I didn’t get what I wanted, so as a second option I followed the promptings given to build up my speaking. You know that question: what would you do, how would you live if you had no fear? I know the answer. I’m living it now. Nothing can hurt me like saying Goodbye to Katelynn did. One by one, I’ve let go of the things that hurt me and that held me back from being what God wants me to be. Because I am a mom, I can do hard things, I can do all things through God.11081406_10153228921607490_1325903462995594045_n

The things kids say

Mom labelBefore I became a mom, people advised me to take the time I drive with my kids in the car as an opportunity to talk to them.  I’ve taken that idea on the road.  I love the moments of bonding with my kids, hearing about their day, singing songs and having heart-to-hearts.  The other day my son asked one of those really important questions during one of our drives.  He said, “How do you know if you are doing what God wants?”2004284_69

I was feeling very pleased with myself in a moment of motherhood eloquence as I answered his question.  I could tell my answer had an effecton him, as he was looking thoughtfully ahead into the passenger side mirror.  I knew he was deep in thought, perhaps looking into his soul.   When he spoke I knew it would be profound… “Mom,” (pause) “how do I not have a mustache right now?!”

And then the moment was gone.

It just whizzed by.

Gone.

I wish I could tell you that later the conversation picked up where it left off.  But in reality, I don’t know if he heard a word I said, as he was so engrossed in the mystery of his facial hair.

That’s just kind of how motherhood goes doesn’t it? 2004284_54

My daughter recently said, “When I grow up, the first one I want to be like is Jesus” (How perfect is that? As I hear this, I am mentally high fiving myself!), “and the second one I want to be like is you, because you are so awesome.” (can I say proud momma?), “I don’t want to be like Daddy,” (what?!), “because he is a man.  And I don’t want to be a man.” (the things kids say sometimes!)

I guess my kids are really thinking things through well…well at least they are thinking…even if they are saying things like, “It’s not my fault I am a good farter!”  (my son didn’t say this—my daughter did).  Or “My pits stink! They are wet and furry!”  (that one WAS my son).  Or my personal favorite quote, a commentary on my motherhood… “I’m hotness’s son.”  Yeah, I guess at least they are learning something.

I am a Hot momma.

2004284_108

Belaying Stephen

author labelBefore my daughter, Katelynn Faith was born, we knew she had a rare chromosomal anomaly.  We knew that Katelynn’s differences had made her special and she would be given every opportunity to find her way in life.  Katelynn is strong.  During her time at the hospital, people could see how special she was.  She was surrounded in a sterile, cold environment, and yet she locked eyes with those around her.   People could feel her presence and attentiveness.

Every morning before going to the NICU, I remember sitting on my bed, looking at my wheelchair.  I would think about what I needed to accomplish.  I knew the day demanded more than I had; getting out of bed and getting ready was already so draining.  So, God and I had a conversation.  I told God how much I felt I could do of my day—usually less than 10%— and asked him to take care of the rest.  I knew he had to carry me, because I had to be awesome, I had to be beyond my best for my three children depending on me.  They looked to my attitude to see if they could get through this.  I would not let them down because I was their mom.

I have been blessed in my life with having a close relationship to God.  I know he has carried me and comforted me in some of the hardest times of my life.  My relative, Stephen, is going through the similar need to ask God to carry him when he can do no more.  Stephen has a Chiari Malformation Decompression, which is a rare brain disorder.  Last year, a surgeon tried to fix the problem, and was unable to help.  Stephen’s condition has been worsening, with Parkinson shakes, Grand Mal seizures, and periods where he doesn’t know who he is or wherekissy face he is.  He has liquid pressing against his brain, which is an additional problem that is causing a lot of complications.  Stephen has been unable to work for more than a year because of his condition.  In November, he was told his brain was starting to necrotize (die) and that he didn’t have much longer to live.  When my niece, Sheraya found out what was going on with her cousin, she stepped in with fundraising to help pay for some of the medical costs.  As Stephen’s story spread, a specialist on Stephen’s condition from New York got involved.  In January, Stephen went to New York to see Dr. Bolognese and found out his condition was NOT fatal, and is operable.

My niece, Sheraya, has spoken to me about how it’s hard to see Stephen suffering.  He’s in his early 30’s—and when he was younger, made decisions that led him down a scary path.  It’s hard to see him change his life so drastically, and to have made his peace with God, only to have him now suffering daily from this illness.Stephen UVRMC ICU

Now we have hope, we have a goal—to raise the money for Stephen to get back to New York and get the surgery he needs to save his life.  Stephen, and his wife, Lesley, are so upbeat and positive.  Throughout the whole experience, Lesley has been looking forward, and has not lost faith that Stephen can get the help he needs.  Stephen is taking life by the horns, and fighting a battle that is overwhelming.  If you are interested in learning more about Stephen’s story or helping him get to New York, you can go to his website, BelayingStephen.com or his fundraising site, gofundme.com/belayingstephen.

I’m grateful for all I have in my life, and the fact that we were able to care for Nathan through the bus accident and heart attack, and then Katelynn through her time here.  As much as we try to look on the bright side, the bitter truth is, crummy things happen in life.  But, we can choose to come out of those experiences stronger, surer of ourselves, and more determined to love and cherish the people we have.

A Perfect 10

Mom label

When my son Nathaniel turned ten, I was shocked– I have been doing this mothering thing for ten years!  Wow!  Those late night feedings, comforting by walking the hall endlessly, stubbed toes, chasing him down, playing dinosaur/cars/train, have now melded into one sporting event after another and conversations about… girls.  He is now 12.  Wow. Wow. The other moms warn me, “those” years– the teen years are coming.  I have decided that my son will, of course, be a charming delight through his teenage years.

I was.

Really!  Ask my parents.

My husband and are dismissing the occasional first grumpy clouds of teen angst as dangerous teenage “experimentation” I hear about.  It will end.   Not long after his 12th birthday, a young lady told him that she liked him… Oh my, lets stop this ride!!  It’s not that I don’t trust my son; I think he is beyond awesome.  This young lady is an exceptional girl; he has great taste. NathanielWe’re even friends with her parents.  Honestly, he should marry this girl!  What?  Yep, I can see the young man he is becoming.  He is great, he will be a great man like his dad, I have no doubt; but still I find myself looking for the breaks!

I want to go back to when he was ten.  Then his interest in girls was observational– if they sat near my son, what words were said, if he perceived them to be having a good day or not, and each day I heard an account of how certain young lady’s day went.  Now it’s bashful smiles and conversations—I find comfort in the fact that without asking him to he gives me a rundown of the conversation… and then it hits me.  My daughter is ten soon… whoa… that means somewhere in the neighborhood there is a boy observing her.  I feel protective and irritated that any boy could see her in a “interested” way.   Back OFF!

I saw a boy at church hold the door open for her… he looked at her.  He is a nice kid.  Great parents.  I felt totally protective.  Why is that I found my son’s interest in girls okay, humorous even and proud that he was picking out such level headed academically oriented kids; but a boy holds the door open for my daughter and I suddenly want to move to the hinterlands?

I remember the heartbreak of my own girlhood…  sometimes that hurt came from boys.  I was still in “the becoming” and wasn’t the girl they were anxious to dance with. Of course it hurt.  Then there were the other girls – teenage girls.  I didn’t get it. I just didn’t get the emotions that come with the roller coaster of girl doom.Ailsa

I realize now, with terror, I have no skillsets to raise a teenage girl.  My teen friends were mostly guys- who I knew I could beat in an arm wrestling match any day.  My daughter is a perfect ten.  She is sooo cute!  She has it all: looks, brains and personality.  So much of my character and becoming the woman I am today came was from being overlooked by my peers– getting to be in a corner watching the world go by.

I want her to stay as she is now, surrounded by her stuffed animals, playing with her American Doll and thinking I have all the answers.  I can take her turning ten, but let’s stop there– at the perfect age of ten.  That, to me, is a perfect ten.  This growing up stuff is overrated!

Last night I kissed my daughter as she was being tucked into bed and whispered to her as I have ten thousand times “Never forget how much I love you.”  I may not have all the answers to help her navigate the next ten years, but I can do what my mom did and see her as the perfect ten that each daughter of God is.

IMG_1182

How to Embrace Your Inner Hotness Audiobook

author labelOne of the first questions I got from people when I wrote How to Embrace Your Inner Hotness was, “When is there going to be an audiobook?” You, my readers have said you want to hear the stories, not just see them.  I’ve heard you want to have it read to you as you drive, work, run errands.  I know the real truth, you want to hear my hilarious voice tell you jokes and have me entertain you!  Since my book shares many personal stories from my life, I knew I was the one that had to read it.  I’ve worked hard to record my audiobook, working to give life to the words through my voice.  I’m so excited to have the audiobook available for all of you.

Listen below for a sample from the audiobook.

If you pre-order before December 15th, your CD copy of How to Embrace Your Inner Hotness will be only $15. 

Click here to pre-order a copy.  CD copies of the book will be mailed out by December 15, and will arrive in the United States before Christmas.  Merry Christmas and enjoy!How-To-Embrace-Your-Inner-Hotness-Cover

 

Stranger Danger

Mom label

From the time we are little, we are taught about the danger of strangers.  We’re told scary things about how they lurk with menacing plans.

My dad owned a small trucking company.  When I say small, I mean small as in my mom was the other driver, and we kids were the set-up crew.

Dad was often the stranger who stopped and helped the car on the side of the road with the hood up.  It wasn’t uncommon for us to find a lady with a car full of kids.  Dad would tinker on her car and soon have it up and running.  He always had extra fan belts, duct tape and rope on hand, saying “you never know when someone could use it.”  The people he helped often thanked him for his kindness with tears running down their faces, but Dad didn’t do it for the glory or any reward.  He knew it was the right thing to do, and he quietly helped strangers.

I remember one late night in the middle of a snowstorm Dad saw a car stopped on the side of the freeway.  He stopped and helped get the man’s car running.  As my dad was leaving, the man gave him his card and said he wanted to help out my dad in return someday.  That man was an internationally known dentist.  It just so happened that not long after that stormy night, I was in a serious bicycle accident.  I knocked out three of my teeth.  That man was the one that came to the hospital, and made sure I got the care I needed; even though my parents were in-between insurance companies.  This stranger saved large portions of my upper jaw bone.

My mom loves people.  She says she never meets a stranger.  One time we were out hiking, my mom went ahead to make lunch for us at the car.  When I got to the end of the trail, I saw Mom sitting on the tailgate of our tan Toyota pickup truck surrounded by bikers, laughing with them and giving out sandwiches.  I imagine some women would be horrified to find a pack of bikers around her vehicle, but not my mom.  She offered them food and drew them with her wit.  She learned one of them was a fan of Shakespeare.  I’ll never forget seeing them quoting Shakespeare to each other over sandwiches of white bread, bologna, and that horrid cheese you have to unwrap the plastic from.

For me, the worst pains of my childhood didn’t come from strangers.  It came from those who were in a position of trust who violated that trust.

So, when I became a mother I had a decision to make; to teach my children about the danger of strangers or to teach them that they needed to trust their inner voice, regardless of who the person was.  I chose the latter.

This is what I tell my kids.  If someone asks you to keep a secret from your parents it isn’t okay—ever.  If someone touches you in your privates it isn’t okay—ever.  I tell them they are people and their feelings and opinions matter.  They know the voice of what is right and what is wrong speaks inside of them.  I tell them to listen to that voice, and if they do, they will recognize danger.  I tell them that while using that voice as a guide, they can have enriching experiences like meeting a biker that is a poet; a dentist that will save their jaw; a single mom whose tears of gratitude will teach lessons.  I try to show them, like my parents showed me, that helping others when it may not be convenient is always the right thing to do.

Our new Polish friends

I think they’re learning it.  The other day at Costco I started a discussion with a couple in the line behind me.   As we stood out by the carts they told me they were from Poland.  We talked of hard work and their years of living under communism.  They told me what makes a good Kielbasa sausage and the pride they feel in their children. They hugged and kissed me, told me I was beautiful and a good mother.  Soon after, my daughter told me she wants them over for dinner.  I do too… and after our discussion, I had better buy the right Kielbasa sausage.

The Words our Mirrors Say- a deeper look into the book

While writing my book, many people, places and events inspired me.  This blog is to help look deeper into the inspiration behind some of the moments in my book, How to Embrace Your Inner Hotness.

The quote above was inspired by a woman I met at one of my Hotness Workshops.  She was a mother of four children that were close in age.  As so many of us do in that process, she lost a tinge of sanity, a lot of peace and the figure she had before she became a mother.  At the workshop, she shared with the group a powerful story of how she learned about positive self-talk.

One day, after she got out of the shower, she looked in the mirror and felt that what she saw was not flattering.  She was struck by the changes in her body.  She said, “I grabbed by tummy, disgusted with myself that I was this fat!  How could I let this happen?!  I started to call myself names… and then I felt something stop me.  Hadn’t this body birthed four healthy babies?  That was a gift.  I felt an impression that I was never to be so unkind to myself again.  I felt that it was from God.”

After she told her story, the room was quiet.  We all knew we were guilty of being unkind to ourselves and even bullying ourselves at times.  Her experience spoke that truth into our hearts, in a clearer way than I could ever express.  The truth was that God doesn’t want us to feel poopy about ourselves.  Don’t be mean to that amazing body you have!  It was made ON purpose for a purpose.

Choose to be nice to you.  Honor yourself with your thoughts.  Feed your mirror kind things.

If you want help with this, my book is available by clicking here.

I Killed the Little Pig…

Kids with Guinea pigI killed my kid’s guinea pig.  I didn’t mean to.

I imagine being a guinea pig can’t be too exciting- living in a little cage, walking in your own poop- and for a reason that I can’t understand- you (the guinea pig) pooped and peed in your own food bowl.  This sort of behavior doesn’t seem to bother the little pigs.  They are super cute and the kids love them.  I like them too.  I had to pick a favorite, it would be Ricky.  Ricky wasn’t prone to peeing on you like Lucy would.   Technically Ricky was girl (for better population control).  My son “owned” Ricky and my daughter “owned” Lucy.  Back to my issue— I just can’t imagine how living in your own mess in a small cage can be a good life.  

I had this dream that we portioned off an area on the front deck with chicken wire and make an enlarged enclosure for the piggies.  They could run wild, poop and pee to their heart’s content– and with weekly cleanings, such a large area wouldn’t be so bad.  Full of this vision, my daughter made little houses from boxes with doors and windows cut in.  She attached several of them with little tunnels.  We even put up a blanket for shade and as a wind breaker, and an area for the guinea pigs to hide from the Kestrel hawks in our area.  Really, we thought of everything for their comfort and happiness.  We just knew life for Ricky and Lucy was going to be awesome at the Greene house.  We brought out their little cage and opened the door to their new enclosure—one that provided almost total freedom.  We reveled in them exploring.  I thought I was rocking the mom job.Spoiled Guinea Pig

Well, evidently guinea pigs are susceptible to heat stroke— I found Ricky peacefully dead the next day.  I felt sick.  I ended up telling them that night… and tears flowed, sad bitter tears… and I remembered the pain of my cat dying when I was young (I found my cat, a dead (partially eaten) bird… and my young CSI mind deduced the cat choked on a bird bone.)  The passing of this guinea pig was the first Pet Death of my children’s life—and it was my fault!  My hubby, in just five minutes of Google-smarty-pants research discovered that guinea pigs don’t deal so well with the heat.  I didn’t even think of that when I made their awesome new home.  I thought the outdoors would be heavenly for them… Bad pun? 

That night, as midnight was approaching, I was outside with a head lamp burying our dearly departed guinea pig.  My neighbors, who were up late painting, had a horror movie moment when they looked out the window and saw me burying things in the dark of the night.

So…I killed Ricky.

pig4I couldn’t apologize to my kids enough.  They didn’t seem to blame me, but I sure felt bad.   When kids are young, a mom can kind of solve everything.  I want to protect my kids, hold them and make life as perfect as possible, while I prepare them for everything I can—and just like I tried for Ricky, I want to make a good home for them.  When I was looking out for dangers for the guinea pigs, I thought of the wind and of the small Kestrel hawks that frequent our street; and I tried to protect Ricky and Lucy from those things.  But it was what I didn’t think about—what I didn’t see as a threat—that ended up getting to Ricky.  As I held my tear-soaked kids and wondered what snot was being wiped on me, I felt guilty.  My kids are getting to the age that I can’t soothe every pain with the ease that I could when they got a stubbed toe at age three—and now, they’re old enough that I may not see what dangers are lurking for them.  The one thing I hope is that I am being a good enough mom that they will have the good sense to escape the hawks of life, and that they will ask for help when they need it.  

We all have a weakness to something.  For a guinea pig, it’s the heat (how is that possible?  They are from South America!  It’s hot there.)  For me, I like to sleep.  I love sleep— it gets in the way of getting everything I would like to accomplish done.  I also have a weakness when dealing with manipulative people.  I don’t like it.  I think I would die of exposure if I had to live in poopiness. We all have our thing. 

My daughter told me she forgave me because it was an accident and she knew I was trying to do something good.  My son told me that he was glad that Ricky didn’t suffer and he didn’t blame me either.  I guess that is the most we can do— just do our best and hope we don’t kill the tender feelings of others.  We can go through our lives and try not to cause pain purposely and when we do—we can take responsibility for it.   We can apologize, and when needed, stay up late (even when we are tired) to bury the pain we cause and ask for forgiveness.

There is something else we should learn from guinea pigs— don’t walk around in your own poop.  If you have read my book you know what I am talking about.  What does that have to do with my story?  Not much, but it’s still a pearl of wisdom. 

I should mention…we have two cats they are doing well.

Thank You Cards

Being the artsy-fartsy type that I am I love to play with paper! Back in the day was an avid scrapbook-er. Kinda hurts my heart to say back in the day because I would like to think I still am a scrapbook-er. The reality is that in writing my book something had to give. I have all the supplies – REALLY it’s a problem – and over Christmas vacation I decided I was going to make a bunch of Thank You cards. In the process of this I re-discovered my love of cutting, gluing, and design with paper.

When my kids are getting ready for bed and family prayer they brush their teeth, get in their pajamas (it’s a process). I’ll sneak into my corner (where all my supplies are and it’s still in calling distance for “brush longer” and “put those clothes in the hamper”) I’ll make a card or two as the kids obediently (fingers crossed) go about their routine.

Kids are always watching and learning. We don’t always know what lessons we are teaching. I thought I was teaching a lesson about proper two minute teeth brushing. But kids are always full of surprises.

This month has had some extra stressers. Some good and some not so good. I have been trying to manage the demands of being a mom, wife, daughter (my parents live in our basement and don’t have the best health), makeup artist, team leader, author, and speaker. It’s not always easy to balance them all. Sound familiar? This is the state of being a woman. We think that we can do it all and the problem is that usually we can.

My daughter’s school is on break and she has been with me throughout the day as I do a makeup demos. She colors as I talk on the phone with clients and even, at moments, fights with her brother just as I am being offered a speaking opportunity.. love that? Wednesday, she was in my scrapbooking corner. They have papers in my corner that they have free reign with. I was glad that she was happily creating and engaged to allow me to attend to other tasks: Making dinner with one hand and checking my day’s to-do list with the other.

My daughter brought me a stack of her handmade cards, “Mom these are for you. They are for your clients. I will make them for you so you can rest more. You say ‘Thank You’ a lot and now it will be easier!” It brought tears to my eyes. She worked so hard on them and she did it for me and the lucky women who will get one of these works of art. The kind of art that we moms love. The kind of art that cannot be duplicated because she is only eight for so long.

Her friend at dance on Thursday bought her a Gatorade. She immediately told me: “Mom I need to give her a Thank You card!” A little later a card was made. And another for Grandpa who is in the hospital recovering from knee surgery. Her brother shared his candy bar (well just a little corner of it) and he got a Thank You card too. There is nothing better than getting a Thank You card.

I was tucking her in bed and thanking her for her kindness to me. She said mom, “I think of others before I think of myself. That’s what Grandma says and she is right.”

Being a mom is the best work I do. It is more important than the applause I receive as a speaker, more than the reviews on my book, or the success of my team, more than the gratification of helping a woman see her beauty— I love what I do the impact I am able to have to help others. But more than all of that I am thankful that my three kids are watching, learning, and serving others too.

Send a thank you card. People love getting them. Especially if they are made by small loving hands.