Monday, March 31, 2014

Matters of Faith & Children

Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it. - Proverbs 22:6

Faith in God has always been a part of my life. Even when I walked away from nearly everything I'd done as right as a kid, a deep seated knowledge that God is real and part of my life never left me. As an adult who wants to raise my daughter in the ways of God without being legalistic, or have her believe she must condemn friends who don't have the same faith, I find that things are not black and white.

I've known this for a long time, but dang y'all, having a kid makes EVERYTHING feel like a giant gray area. Tonight she confided in me that she is going through what many of us would call a "crisis of faith", where she honestly isn't sure if she believes in God, and she's scared of what that could mean.

"What if we're worshiping nothing? What if we're wasting our Sundays worshiping absolutely nothing?"

Yet, at the same time, she requested three different prayer sessions as we were going to bed/saying goodnight. I know so well this doubt, this questioning and the fear that comes with it. I have been going through something similar for a while, and trying to explore more to find out what I do actually believe. But, how do you approach that with an 11 year old? Faith is so abstract, elusive and intangible.

For tonight, I reassured her that she would be okay. That faith is a big thing, with lots of big questions, and that part of faith is accepting that there's not always answers to those questions. At least half of those words were for me, and I'm fairly positive they didn't actually come from me. I certainly needed to hear that, and it seemed to act as a bit of balm for her as well.

I wonder and worry, as a parent, if I'm not confident in my own faith, then how can I raise her with confidence?

Where do I go from here to help Kiddo?

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Patience and Simplicity

As I mentioned in my last post, I've been under the weather lately. It seems as soon as one symptom lets up, something else is right on its heels! I was miserably nauseous for a week, and the last three days I've been laid up with a personal issue.

I've written before about my lack of patience, and it seems that I should be learning from all this that I need to be more patient!

My to-do lists in my awesome planner haven't been getting checked off, and I really don't like it when those little boxes don't get filled in/completed. I feel very lazy and directionless when I don't get things done, and this past week has truly been a week of getting absolutely NOTHING done! I barely made it through most days at work (sitting and staring at a computer, how is that hard?! When you want to puke at every movement, it gets pretty darn hard.), and went home thinking only of finally getting to lie down in bed and maybe stopping the movement would stop the nausea. Sometimes it worked! Then I'd get up and BAM, there it was.

It's made me a little stir-crazy, and even though I'm nowhere near 100% and still have pretty nasty cramps, today I had to move and actually do something. So I made myself a small to do list (oh hey Jillian Michaels 30 day shred, forgot about you!! Right after this post, I promise), and I've been gradually getting things done.

One of the big things I've been trying to accomplish with the organization I've been working on in our room is simplicity. Our space is so limited, we need to simplify and make sure everything has a place and a reason for being there. Part of that simplicity is going down to one car and I'll start biking and taking public transit for my commute. It's exciting, and I had a blast cleaning everything out of my car today! I'm honestly ready to let my little sporty car go, and the savings we'll see along with simplifying life with only having to take care a single car will be fabulous.

How are you simplifying your life lately?

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spirit of Service

Lately I haven't been feeling well, and it's bringing out a side of kiddo that I don't see all that often (being her parent and all) - her serving others side.

I hear from other parents, teachers and other adults that spend time around kiddo that she loves to help, and is quick to offer service to those around her. This makes me so very happy, and yet looking at our life, I can't say that I can point to where this has come from. I hope this is because helping those around us is so ingrained that it's just part of life without thought to plan things out.

Since I haven't been feeling well, I often come home from work and head straight to bed. It's frustrating, and I don't have any sick time built up at this new job to afford actually staying home. If things get worse I certainly will. However, each time kiddo finds me in bed, she offers helpful suggestions (open the window for fresh air) and brings me healing foods (toast and tea) while admonishing me that I should eat. I make her eat when she's sick, and I'm no different.

What would I do without this little nursemaid?

I am so, so thankful she has this spirit of service, and I pray that I have that same spirit with those around me and my loved ones.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Why I'm Not Fasting For Lent

Going into this Lenten season, I knew that I wanted to observe the 40 days of Lent, but was very unsure in what way. As I've been working on getting organized and using my planner to keep my life in order, I thought perhaps following a fairly traditional route would fit the routine that I've been finding soothes my anxiety.

After a (very) brief period of thought, I began looking at fasting between sunrise and sunset, with the exception of two small snacks. As I've been working on eating healthier, I thought (mistakenly) that this would be a good way to continue eating healthy and jumpstart a bit of weight loss.

Well! If you've done any reading on Lenten fasting, the intent behind it is key. One fasts in an event such as Lent out of a hunger to grow closer to God, a hunger so strong for His word that one would forego food itself in the pursuit of quelling the desire.

My intent, however, was one of doing something I'd never done before, and hoping it would help my vanity and weight loss efforts. I did attempt a full day on Ash Wednesday, and made it all the way until lunch time. Much of the time I was focused on the food I was not to be eating, and the rest of the time I was thinking of the fact that I was doing it for entirely the wrong reasons.

After several hours of deep thought, I declared to myself that I was no longer fasting, because it felt very wrong and while I certainly want my faith to grow from the time of Lent, I definitely don't have the hunger that drives a true fast. In the course of these realizations, I did land on how I am observing Lent this year.

As I posted previously, I'm not sharing what I'm doing for Lent, but it definitely meets better criteria! It is something that I can do daily, it is not currently part of my daily routine, requires sacrifice (though not a physical one) and will deepen my faith.

I am not posting this as any kind of shame on those who choose to fast for Lent for any reason. This blog is simply about my personal reasons, and I thought I would share. The celebration of Lent (or not) is a personal decision, and is not something I would ever judge another person by. 

Do you typically do the same thing each year to observe Lent? Do you take a while to decide how you'll observe, or is part of a yearly routine for you? I'm very interested in how others arrive at what sort of observation they will use!

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A lesson in patience


Silly Fun (c) 2013 KL Photography & Kristin Leamy

  • Some of us have more than others. 
  • Some of us are selective upon whom we bestow our patience. 
  • Some of us value it higher than others.

The Beatitudes list patience as one of the virtues of love.

And yet...

As I get older, love my child and husband more and more with each turn of the earth (no really, I do!), I have less and less patience with them, much less with myself. I tell myself it's because I have higher standards now, but I think that might be a lie.

I think my standards are about the same, overall, but my expectations of those around has significantly changed. Oh, you're 11 now? Well now I expect you to behave exactly in the way an adult would act. You'll do it, but on your own timeline which is vastly different from mine? That's just unacceptable.


In my new planner, I have a space for jotting down one significant way I've been patient with my family that day. This is something I need to work on, and am using this year to really focus on. I'm generally a patient person, and yet I am the least patient with those that I love the most. This needs to change.

And today, one of the biggest challenges of all - my cycle has started. I won't go into graphic detail, but it puts me through the equivalent of labor each month, without the payoff of an epidural or a sweet baby to snuggle afterward. Sitting home from work, writing out this post, it's difficult to look around me and see all the things waiting to be done, and to restrain myself from doing them because it will either cause more pain, or I simply physically am unable to do so.


Nothing that I see around me is an urgent matter. Laundry can wait another day. Those boxes will still be there for me to sort tomorrow. For now, I need to allow myself to rest and heal.

Some days, that's the hardest thing to accomplish.

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