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Friday, December 20, 2013

the marriage struggle

It's black.
For a reason.
No picture could contain -
we lived a week separate from each other, once again.

Craving love,
Understanding,
A warm greeting that was true.
No other opinion do I hold so dear, in my heart, than what comes from you.

I bitch.
I scold.
I affirm a lie
That anyone is more important than you in my life.

Not one.
Not my mothers, my fathers or child.
It's you.
Only you, I hope to come alive.

In this knowing,
Ever-loving,
the person I have become.
For you chose me
You chose me
To be the one.

All this hopeless
In wondering
if you'd choose me again.
You chose me
You chose me
To be your cover.

And I choose you.
I choose you.
Every day
You're my lover.

I'd choose you,
I'd choose you,
again and again.

I'd choose you,
I'd choose you,
again and again.

copyright Kaley Kiewiet
#nurturecalls

Friday, November 1, 2013

A mind of her own, and obstinate

It appears that my 3 year old daughter needs to learn the boundaries of how to speak and act. Over the last few weeks it has gotten drastically worse. After all, she did just turn three! There is no doubt that we have a very strong-willed child on our hands. If you say go, she'll say stop. If you say yes, she'll say no. If you suggest anything, she will trump you and demand something different. If you ask "would you like something" or "would you like to do" if it wasn't her idea first she will kill it without hesitation. It doesn't matter how kind you are. She is not impressed. It has to be her way, her idea and always in her time. If you dare to go against this, there is hell to pay; with flailing about, screaming, hitting, you name it. We call this; Gremlin Girl (not to her of course). Obstinance in full-fold.

Well, that's not going to sit well in this household sister. Sorry. You don't get to treat me or anyone disrespectfully with that kind of detest or obstinance. I love you too much to let you act like this. So! Homebound we are for a few days (maybe weeks) as we make it very clear that this kind of behavior is not acceptable.

Why homebound? I have always been apprehensive of giving children a "1- 2 -3" until they shape up. I think a parent should be taken seriously the second they speak. Three kids later, I've done a pretty good job keeping consistent, remaining calm and stern (usually), but three kids later: it has become a struggle! My girl is keeping me on my toes! Every second she is awake there is an issue we have to work through. "Mom!! I DON'T want that spoon!"/ "I said I wanted too much!!!" (her way in saying 'more') / "I will NOT do that" / "You come here right NOW!" (yes, speaking to me) / "I will NOT eat this!" (sliding the bowl across the table, then crossing her arms in disgust). Yeah, that's what I'm dealing with. I've lost it several times, and about lost it many times more. I have felt hopeless & anxious dealing with one scenario after another. The fight never stops.

Because I don't want to draw too much attention to the negative I've been ignoring (or trying to) some of the bad behavior so not to flip a lid - for her sake and for mine. But it's kind of hard to ignore. And ignoring. . .really!? Like I don't see how you're acting? Am I just going to ignore it and let you get away with destructive behavior and a nasty attitude? I don't think so.

Lately my husband and I have been questioning our parenting techniques (if you call it that). We have become reactive parents and in our insecurity have been at odds with each other when dealing with our kids. What it came down to is, neither one of us knew what to do. Thankfully we came together. Because of this, there is a higher level of respect and appreciation from our kids.

A consequence in our house is a wooden spoon to the butt. But not always. It is used to correct direct defiance or unruly behavior. Ideally with a calm, stern approach followed by "I'm so sorry you made that choice, it makes me sad to have to give you a spanking." One stinging swat. Same strength. Followed by a hug. "I hope you make a better choice next time." With our strong-willed girl, this happens about every 5 minutes. But it is happening less and less as she's realizing "Mama" and "Dada" are serious and consistent. Hence, being homebound for a few days. This sort of discipline doesn't set well with the world today. Though, I do bring the spoon with us every where we go because I don't want her to think she is off the hook. She understands that until we see better behavior from her, she doesn't get to go on playdates, enjoy library time, shopping, etc. This is a big deal to our independent girl.

Let me explain why we use the wooden spoon. I once read that hands are for blessing. I love that and want to keep it that way. I don't want loose hands when it comes to disciplining my kids. It is far too easy to let anger get the best of me. A spanking done in anger can do far worse damage than what is intended. When I have to fetch the spoon, it keeps my temper in check. I am less likely to be caught in an emotional uproar when I have a few extra seconds to think before I act.

My dad just pointed out the other day that we have adopted the 1-2-3 theory without realizing it, only using different words. "Adelle, please don't do that again or there will be a consequence." We follow through with the consequence after giving her a warning, and then remind her of the warning, instead of giving her the opportunity to take us seriously the second we speak.

For the last few days we have been parenting in the way that we used to - which means more work. With a strong-willed child that means a lot more work. But there is no easy way around parenting so we might as well nip bad behavior in the butt, and stay consistent. Day three, and we are already seeing progress. It has not been without a major fight on her end, but we have remained calm, and reminded her that the choice is hers. The consequence will either be good or bad.

We are all different parents, and with very different kids, so I am not saying that we should all spank (nor do I presume that my opinion matters to you). My husband and I have been back and forth with time-outs, consequences, rewards, etc., and nothing gets her attention more promptly than a spanking. With any consequence there has to be a "sting" so that they think twice before doing it again. Rewards are also good. But seriously, I can't give the girl a candy bar every time she does something right. And sometimes the reward of making good choices is simply the joy in the moment of choosing well! That should be good enough. It is so easy to spoil our children in today's society.

It is said that the best kind of parenting is Authoritative Parenting. I agree with this. Children are individuals. Their actions will get a response. The response will either be positive or negative. We need to equip them with the right tools to be successful. If they make negative choices, they will get negative results. If they choose right, they will get positive results. The choice is theirs! We have to be careful not to withhold discipline for fear that we draw too much attention to the negative.

Some key points to practicing good discipline:
  • Your child should understand why they are being punished.
  • Follow through consistently without an emotional rise
  • Keep a strong commitment to establishing & communicating boundaries 
  • Give children the power to choose right from wrong (both have consequences)
  • Keep your temper in check
  • You are going to make mistakes. It's ok! Acknowledge when you are wrong, and continue with the plan of discipline. "I'm sorry," is best learned when modeled yourself.
  • Get on the same page with your spouse. You equally need support, accountability & affirmation. Being a part of a team is far better than being alone.
Sometimes all the difference in the world is the way we view parenting. Is it an inconvenience when our children act out, or do we see this as an opportunity to teach? Our view could change the way we parent. 

I am in the thick of dealing with a defiant child. I have made many mistakes, will continue to do so, but the mistakes will be few and far in between staying consistent and keeping strong. 

Hope this helps someone out there. It has really helped me. And it's a good reminder for those of us who have multiple kids. Life can be so crazy and out of control at times.

#nurturecalls


Thursday, October 24, 2013

True Nobility

I read this today and thought I would share. . .

"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self." ~ Ernest Hemingway

I find great freedom in this. In a world where everyone's life status is a continual reminder of where we fall short, it's nice to be reminded of this. It gives me hope to strive and become better for myself and for my family. Not for anyone else.

#nurturecalls

Sunday, October 20, 2013

I hope you will see

IMG_20131014_140538.jpg

From the depths of My heart do I hope you will see
The beauty in you, the beauty in Me.
Created for purpose with love to be won
First given by Me and then lived by your love.

Be with the people I gifted you for
Alongside them in wonder - in happy - in war.
Look to Me in confidence where shame is not found
Where beauty and grace are highly pronounced.

(inspired by the photo above)

#nurturecalls
© Kaley Kiewiet



Make Time

Make time for the people who matter. If you don't, you start to question whether or not they do. If you're questioning whether or not they do - make time for them. More than likely the questioning will dissipate and understanding will grow.

#nurturecalls

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

His Name Was Chat

Not sure why I never made it over to see our neighbor across the street. I thought I had more time than i did. It seems like yesterday I saw him getting in his friends car dressed in his best, confident, strong - but my memory of yesterday was in fact 3 years ago. I've been busy raising kids and going about my busy life by my agenda. I had good intentions for years. Envisioned myself bringing a meal, writing a note to say "Hi neighbor! I take notice in your life!"

I second guessed myself every time a good intention was contradicted by the other thought; "he doesn't want to be bugged", "what do I have to offer him anyway", "what if it's not a good time", "I don't want him to feel I'm intruding or put pressure on him to be a good neighbor", the list goes on.

Well, instead of living with whatever awkwardness could have evolved from my visiting I have to live with the regret for the fact that I never tried.

His name was Chat. He was a man of many years old which means he had a great amount of wisdom and stories to tell. Even a little history of the street we live on - what it used to be, what he remembers of life and how much things have changed - would have been gift enough of knowing this man. I have longed for these stories and more simply, to give and receive a genuine smile.

Weeks before his death, he was dying in his home with "weeks to live" while cancer choked the life out of him. My husband was called upon a number of times to help transfer Chat to the bathroom or to his bed. I am ever so thankful that Ben had the opportunity to give and love in that way. At that point there wasn't much conversation. Chat breathed deep, long breaths and each day they got shorter and shorter. The dialog, however, exchanged between my husbands face and his was everything and more that I could ever hope to let him die knowing about us - and for us to live knowing about him.

The evening before he was transferred to Trillium Woods (Hospice Care) I planned to bring an egg casserole to the family as they cared for him. The next day I loaded the kids in the van to pick up Liam from school and I noticed the ambulance. I watched in shock as the paramedics carried a stretcher to the front door. My heart sank. I felt so out of control standing there not able to do anything. I looked at the time and if I didn't leave then I would be late for Liam. I got in the van pulled out and then stopped at the end of our drive way. I got out of the car, ran across the street and saw Chat's sons and daughter standing outside as the paramedics took control inside. I asked, "is there anything I can do? I planned on make an egg casserole for you this evening for you to have tomorrow morning." They were thankful but informed me that he was being transferred to Trillium and that no one would be there. I couldn't fight the tears. I started to cry and said "I am so sorry you are going through this." All three of them started to cry. I realize now that sharing in their sadness was likely the best gift I could have given.

I was just hoping to impart into Chat while he was still living, before he was dying. I will not carry shame or regret with this long term. God is bigger than all of this - and in the end He did in fact use my husband to show him love. Very few of us have the honor of being with someone in their dying days like Ben did. Maybe that's exactly what God intended.

We influence more people than we realize. It is seldom brought to our attention when our life touches another. Who knows who is watching and picking up on the little bits of good we share with the world. It is so important to make doing good a part of our daily life because people need it - and since we are human we cannot always be in tune with God's leading. When God leads, there's nothing to figure out. You do it. But our uncertainty can make us lose out on great opportunity.

The right time may never come. We are all waiting for this ah-ha moment to throw us into doing good. I'm beginning to realize it's less about when we feel is the opportune time and more about doing it because the thought crossed our mind. Maybe the gesture of doing good is for the person we're doing it for and not about the feeling we get inside. Yes, I'm sure of this.


#nurturecalls

Monday, October 14, 2013

Fight Hard

It's so easy to stop dreaming. Everyday life can crush our hopes and desires to the point where we find comfort in the memory of a dream once worth fighting for. I'm not sure what changed exactly but I am dreaming again. Bigger and brighter than I ever have before. All this time I thought it was too late to do what I desired so long ago but I'm beginning to realize it was premature until now. Now is the perfect time.

Through hardship we have a choice to let it make or break us. I've been broken for a long time. And I'm starting to feel thankful for it. It's when we are broken that we find strength - because never more do we need it.

It is death or life in the face of adversity. The choice is ours. We cannot stay in a state of turmoil. It needs to end one way or another. I choose to fight harder - love deeper - live better. And it is seriously hard work to stay there. Getting there is easy. It's staying that's difficult. But it is so worth fighting hard for.

#nurturecalls

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Heart Provoking [A plug for Gungor's "I Am Mountain"]

Currently basking in the richness of Gungor's new album "I Am Mountain." Only 3 songs in and I cannot move on until I have fully grasped each song as it comes. And in the coming I am placed in silence where no babies can distract me, my phone, my agenda, myself, my mind - it will not get in the way of it's coming or I will start it all over again. So yeah, it's going to take a while to get through it. ;)

So much is to be had in this movement of music. The depth may not be what you hear, feel or sense - it may be greater than any sense is able to comprehend. It is heart provoking. Captivating. Good Lord it's good! And if lucky enough to be repeated you will hear something new you didn't the first time. Whether it be an intentional off rhythm, a lyric, a harmony. . .your heart. . .something shifts in you every time you listen.

I realize I shouldn't give a review yet as I haven't listened to it all, but 3 songs in and I find myself resting in a whole new world of life and I want to share it with as many people as I can! The video "I Am Mountain" (1st song) speaks for itself. Wow. Wow. Wow! Youtube it.

I would say "support my friends and listen to their album!" if that was needed but it's not. They blew through the parameters of our expectations in music and once again, Gungor has given the world an amazing gift. Life is freely given to those who hear it with open and ready hearts.

Love you Mike and Lisa!!! Beyond proud and amazed by you (and Ame).

Get the Album!!! Gungor "I Am Mountain" AMAZING!!!

#nurturecalls

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Let the Greeters be Greeters

Vulnerability is Contagious. When you're willing to bare your soul and talk about the not so pretty things in life it creates an atmosphere of grace and acceptance, where I can be me and you can be you - the good, the bad and the ugly.

Most of us prefer being on the helping side of vulnerable but we tend to forget that we are more of a help when we are on the same side. Think about it. When you need emotional support in an area of your life are you quick to call the person who "has it all together" or are you quick to call the person who clearly doesn't? Probably the latter.

Why in the church do we feel being uppity and flaunting our "Hallelujah, Thank you Jesus!" smiles is going to engage us in real life? It doesn't. It means to me about as much as that nice gentleman who greets me at Meijer. It's nice to be nice. I appreciate niceness. But let the greeters be greeters and the rest of us take down our masks that say "I've got it all together." No you don't. I don't. None of us do.

As much as I'd rather not say when I'm not ok, some one else is feeling the way I do and is waiting to hear that they are not alone. How will people ever tag you as a safe place if you've only ever communicated success? A safety net is only trusted if the source itself can be trusted. Trust comes when trust is given.

If you're aching for vulnerability, take off your mask. It starts with you. It starts with me. Stop looking around to fix others. Let them take off theirs when they're ready. In the meantime, take off your mask. Cause when you do, so will they. . .



Monday, September 9, 2013

The Twinkle

just a little heart pouring. . .

Sometimes it comes.
The twinkle in the eye of hope.
It breathes life, love, joy
Restores my soul anew.
Just enough to say "keep on"
Don't lose sight of whats to come
But whats to come never comes
So I sit and wait, again.

Just enough to get by
Just enough to stop the cry
But "just enough" is losing still
To pain, sorrow, and larger still~
This hole is filled with heartache
No joy to employ, to overtake
Unless mercy comes with wings
And carries me out of this misery.

I wish the twinkle would stay a little longer.
That hope would be more real than the other
That life would give a most gracious hand
And wipe my tears away again
Come quickly now as I can't ignore
The life I once knew
The life of more
More than this hour
More than this pain
That is stealing from me all that was gain.

#nurturecalls copyright Kaley Kiewiet

Monday, September 2, 2013

Priority of the Heart

A world of circumstance, heartache, fear, rejection, pain - joy, happiness, love & serendipity surrounds us. So much emotion can be experienced in one day (sometimes a lifetime of emotion). All too easy joy is squeezed out with a lesser emotion. All too easy. One damaging statement rolls around in your head over and over. You look past it, try to embrace the now and then when a moment of silence comes - there it is. It doesn't matter how hard you try to over look it and move on. It's always there. When insecurity is triggered, greater insecurity comes that is attached to so many other scenarios you thought you were "over".

How does one prioritize the issues of the heart? Prayer, crying, and talking it through can give us the needed release. But given the notion that we need to deal lovingly and sensibly with our heart's, how does one make sense of anything when it's bleeding. Mine's bleeding. It doesn't keep me from loving my kids and enjoying life with them but it's starting to come out in every day life. It's a fight I would rather not have to fight; Swallowing the rejection and choosing acceptance only in my children and husband. Being OK when things are not ok in my family. Finding peace outside of the friendships I have deeply trusted over the years and who are not so much there anymore. Encouraging my children to take opportunity and risk that I myself do not understand. Earnestly hoping for an understanding from my husband when we catch each other's eyes. You can only be so proactive with what's important in life. When the demands around you need your immediate attention survival sends you to reactive. Something always has to give. But that something is not easy to figure out.

The priority of my heart is sending my son to school tomorrow morning. We have talked about this day for months and now here it is. It seems nothing has had my heart more than this. I haven't been able to think or write about anything because this is the pressing issue of my heart that I would rather not talk about. The greatest change is about to take place for all of us. When responsible for my children, change has never been so hard. We will all be affected by this change. Somehow I have to reach deep within and find the strength enough for myself times three - three little faces who depend on me to set them up right in this world. I am scared. Very afraid of what I do not know - and what I do know. Encouraging my child to be confident and excited about all that's to come with school - I feel like I'm half lying by not telling him the whole truth. Yes good things come from school but so do some of the most damaging experiences in life. I cannot keep it from him. It pains me. . . . .

Faith brings on a whole new meaning when you are a Mom. I am trusting in God above to protect my little boy's heart as he experiences life outside of me and outside of his comfort zone. I no longer have control of what he does, who he talks to or what he sees. I will not be there when a peer or a teacher says something that hurts. He has to figure it out without me - and I hope to God when he finds comfort in me at the end of the day I can give him the support and attention he needs.

I do not want to be a victim of a bleeding heart. I hope and pray that when tomorrow comes His grace and mercy will cover our home. I hope that his first day of school is full of wonderful happenings for all of us and when something bad happens it just feels like a hiccup.

As for the rest of me; that which is uneasy, hurt, and bruised - that can wait for another day. Today the priority of my heart is my son. And my two littles and wonderful husband who are with us on this journey.

God be with us and shine your face upon us. Let your beauty consume this life you have given. And in the face of fear, security be found  - and confidence the reward of trusting.

#nurturecalls

Monday, August 12, 2013

Doing Without

We get used to doing without. It is a slow progression. The thought of who I was 10 years ago is mind boggling. I cannot understand how habits have changed so drastically over the last 10 years. It feels drastic but in actuality it was and is progressive. I will never be that person again. And thankfully so. There is so much I have learned about life.

I don't want to get used to doing without the good things. But I wouldn't mind doing without the not so good things - immediately. The problem is, squeezing out the bad is also a progression. There is no quick fix to the mess I have created. BUT there is so much hope for better.  All it takes is a purposed attitude and a commitment to doing a "little bit better". Add a little bit better every day and it will make for a huge change in the future.

#nurturecalls

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Older

How did I get so old? I'm sitting here sore, tired, thinking of all the things I wish I had the energy to do. Run and sprint with my kids. Do cart wheels & hand stands like I used to. Play basketball, soccer. . .just throw a damn ball without it feeling like such a hurdle. Wow. I wasn't ready to get old(er). I envisioned what my life would look like when I had small children - ENERGY. I just want energy to successfully keep on task around the home and not get so stinkin distracted by all that's around me, including my kids. It's impossible to say for sure how much I will get done in a day. I set goals and fail. Lowering the bar doesn't help either. It's exhausting no matter how you look at it. If you bust your butt (like I did tonight); clean the table, dishes, laundry, bath time, pick up toys, pick up food all over the floor, plan/prepare for the next day (hardly do that) - Exhausting. If you do none or few of these things and take a "deserving" break, well then you're that much more behind! Exhausting. And then tomorrow comes and it all starts over.

Years go by like semesters. I put on some of my clothes the other day and I was sure that they fit. . .yeah, not so much. Not at all. I remember looking in the mirror shocked. Laziness didn't get me here, I bust my ass! Am I really that old now?! Ugh. And please for anyone older than me I get it, I'm not "old" . . .but YES I am. Oldest I've been in my entire life, so please don't argue based on your current age ;)

I still dream of the day I can do all those things again. I've been exercising. I bring all 3 kids to the gym with me at least twice a week and then shoot for 2 days a week on my own. It is hard. While I'm exercising I'm aware of all that I'm not and strive to be someone different in physique and that "different in physique" I'm not so sure of either. But I'm trying!!

My boobs sag. My crotch hurts. My stomach is wrinkly and saggy. My back aches. . . BUT I am truly hoping that exercise clears some of this up - gives me energy anyway. I know I will forever have beauty marks all over my body from having children. I'd like to ache in the right way again. Gotta strengthen my core. Yep. Working really hard to keep a schedule down. Of course, as we all know, with children there's always something.

Anyway, random babble.  Getting older. And it sucks.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Look Deeper

The beauty we seek is often the kind that will perish. 
Unless we look deeper we are fooled every time with less.
#nuturecalls ©Kaley Kiewiet

Monday, July 29, 2013

You Have My Hand

I remember not long ago
feeling like you feel,
watching Mom and Dad be busy
with everything but me.

I didn't understand
why I wasn't good enough.
They tried to explain
but it simply wasn't enough.

I remember thinking "one day when I'm Mom
I'll make time like they didn't for me"
But motherhood has come and now
responsibility made it's plea.

Some things in life are misunderstood
until you're all grown up.
I'm stuck between being all for you
~ and being all for me too.

Wish so much I could give to you
all my time, focus and drive.
It simply is not possible
to be all I had hoped to be.

Little did I know at your age
and still, little do I know.
I see where I want to be
but often life drums another beat.

Some things in life we cannot control,
including part of who we are.
We can improve in big and little ways
but in the end we are who we are.

If only I understood
what I understand now,
I would look at my Mom differently
and love in spite of me.

Sweet child, there is so much
I would give you if I could;
spend time, play, and goof
instead of daunting chores and work.

I am burdened every day
when I see your little face;
Inquiring, asking, pleading for
Me to make you space.

Please know it kills to disappoint,
to choose anything but you.
I am trying with my very best
to help you through and through.

In all the ways I love you dear
there will always be,
a hiccup in my love for you
~ I'm human as you'll see.

Please forgive the ways I hurt,
for the ways I don't understand.
The one thing I can promise
is that you'll always have my hand.

To guide, to play,
to help along
To hug, to love
to teach you on.

For all the ways I let you down
~ please forgive me.
And try to see all the good,
for I love you endlessly.

20013©Kaley Kiewiet

A recent photo of my kids. . .




From the left: Liam, Everett & Adelle

#nurturecalls

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Play the Field! (For those dating or engaged)

This post is for all those who are dating, considering engagement and/or marriage. . .

You've heard the phrase "play the field" and I kind of agree. Except that it's an expression we use to experiment sexually and I don't recommend that. Sexual experimentation can clutter your ability to think straight and reason through what's good for you. One good sexual experience can cause you to over look the important qualities you desire in a person long term. Before you know it, you may find yourself in a cycle of dysfunction without a beginning or an end. The temporal good can keep us from the lasting better. It can give a false sense of security and make it very hard to break it off when/if the time comes. Unless you are willing to break off what is questionable, you are never given the opportunity to find better.

I'd like to think of "playing the field" as an expression we use to meet a lot of different people, explore the world, go on dates, take risks, make adventure, and get to know yourself in vastly different scenarios. Who are you? The only way to know is to take time to figure you out. What do you dream about and hope for in the future? What are your core beliefs about love, life, the world?

While busy cultivating life in the smallest and biggest ways (I emphasize small) take notice in who you get along with. I don't think we put enough emphasis on getting along. Who makes you feel amazing? Who inspires you and awakens the desire to live life fully!? Getting along is by far one of the most important defining reasons why your marriage could work. Choose someone you simply get along with. A clear indication that you are not getting along is constant nagging or fighting. A not so clear indication could be an underlying tension that hovers.

My husband and I had our own experiences of dating history prior to dating each other. Upon meeting each other, our dating history was "old wounds" that healed over and shaped a part of who we were. We wanted to do everything together. I remember thinking that something had to be wrong because I didn't know friendship could exist with someone who I had romantic feelings for. It does. And now I know without friendship there's no way we'd be ok! Three kids later, and we still enjoy each other. It can be crazy and out of control at times with three littles, but away from our children - away from the daunting every day responsibilities, the piling bills, financial stress - I would choose him any day to come with me for a "time out."

One thing I wish I understood when I was dating and before I got married is that sex does not and should not seal the deal. Every one of us will find ourselves sexually vulnerable many times before we are married...and that can be as powerful and as simple as a kiss. Point is this; it is not a done deal because you compromised your standards or slipped romantically. This is no reason to get married. So what, you messed up...gave a piece of yourself in a way and to someone (maybe several) you wish you hadn't. It happens to the best of us. Sexual mishaps can either strengthen who we are or can hinder our self-worth. The choice is ours. *BUT you have to wait to engage in another relationship until you come out of it in full strength. It's not wise to enter into a new relationship while you are still bleeding at the loss of a prior. It's not wise to connect intimately with another person if you are still wounded. The danger in "carried over heartache" can result in mutual cynicism, judgment, & unforgiveness - all of which may give you a sense of understanding but none of these will bring the fruit of trust, affirmation, and forgiveness.

The expression "choose wisely" is exactly right. Love is a choice. The idea of falling in love or "finding it" is not real. It may feel real, but we all know feelings are fleeting. It is your choice to love who you choose! It is no ones fault but your own if you choose to love someone you dislike. You are but a victim of your own doing.

Love is not found in the church, in the bars, in the bedroom, at work, at school. . .There is no safe place because love is not found. Love is purposed when observation is given the chance outside of our heightened emotional or physical state. Character is learned, understood and trusted only with time (how much time, well that depends on the situation). Trust should be established before marriage is even a thought. If you have trust issues now it will escalate in the future.

It is unwise to get married because you are sexually involved, you desire to be sexually involved, because you are pregnant, you are lonely, you have a child, you don't foresee anything better, because you can't live without them, because they are crazy good in bed. . .At some point you will feel very differently. Feelings take us to both wonderful and dreadful places. It is trust and good character that will successfully carry you through every good and bad day. Being happily single is far better than being miserably married. I think we all know this to be true for everyone else, but it can be difficult to understand for ourselves. That's why we need each other. No couple does well in solitude. If you are isolated from the world around you, there will be problems.

Before committing to someone ask yourself these questions:
  • Does he/she encourage me to be an individual? 
  • Does he/she allow me to dream and cultivate my gifts? 
  • How does he/she respond to my weaknesses? BIG one. Is he/she affirming and on your side? Does he/she push you to the forefront and demand you to fix yourself? 
  • How does he/she operate in relationships at work, with his/her family & friends - with your family & friends? 
  • Do you admire him/her?
  • Do you respect him/her?
Then ask your partner, "Do I bring out the best in you?" If the answer is no, figure out if that can be changed. And if it can't, run like hell - for both of you.

Play the field. Get to know yourself and other people before committing to someone for life. A good working relationship will be confirmed through peace, friends, and family. There will be an overall sense that "this is good" if in fact it is good.

#nurturecalls

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Proud

I am writing in honor of all mothers who have invested a great amount to give our children a rich and full life - to the best of our ability.

It's hard to put into words how I feel tonight. I am really taken back by my children who have all reached a new milestone. Liam, my 5 1/2 year old has learned how to ride a two wheel bike - a thrilling and new found freedom for him! My daughter Adelle who is 2 1/2 is now pottying on the toilet and has graduated to her "big girl bed," and Everett is eating table food and transitioning from baby to toddler. Wow. Seems so dull as I write this but the feeling attached to these inevitable experiences cannot be described, only understood. As mothers we are so easily taken back by the progression of growing up. Every little thing they do....Ugh! It just gets to our hearts!

I am so hard on myself. I strive to better, more than I am, constantly looking for ways to improve, but tonight I sit in amazement of all I am willing to do for my kids. I couldn't be more proud of who I have helped them become.

In spite of my quirkiness, bad habits that irritate the hell out of me, all the ways I fall short, one thing I am is always thankful. I will make the best with what I am given - always. A gift I offer freely to my children is thankfulness.

My house can sit in disarray for days, but I will take care of it. I am fine with leaving the laundry for a day to have an adventure with my kids, to cuddle up with a book, to nurse my baby, to be in constant explanation mode and mediate conversation so my kids understand the truth about life and relationship.

There is nothing more important to me than helping my children understand the value of life.

We are all good at something. Every one of us. Sit back and look at all you have done! There is an exceptional mother in all of us. To find it we just need to tap into the goodness and power of love that we offer to our children. His love over us is so good. And His blessing is found all around us.

Proud proud Mama today. :)

#nurturecalls

Saturday, June 29, 2013

An Honest Prayer of Doubt

Gut-wrenching prayer with my husband tonight. I felt lead to share. . .

"God. Forgive me for not seeking you. For allowing stupid people to taint my view of you. I'm so scared that if I seek you, you will not be found in the way I used to know. There is so much doubt and uncertainty that hovers over me. Everywhere I turn I'm afraid of something - Afraid for my kids - Please give me direction and hope. I have been carrying this weight for quite some time now; the reality that I cannot fulfill all of their needs. I wish I could! No one loves them like I love them. And asking you to fill in the gap often feels like I'm shifting responsibility. But I can't do it all. . .and it kills me. God bring encouragement from something, somewhere, someone! I feel so alone. I know you are here but do not have a clear vision of who you are in my future - or in my kids. It seems instead of "boxing you in" (which I've been careful not to do) I have boxed you out, allowing access only when I can't do it anymore. Protecting all that I love from you in case You are not who I thought you were. Wow. Cannot believe that is the truth in my heart. I'm scared. Very afraid. And I need you to help me think and live differently."

#nurturecalls

(Please note, the last thing I want in response to this is a lengthy scripture or message full of how you think I should go about knowing God. If lead to reply, pray first. If it is God-leading and you are absolutely sure then share. If it's human compassion I appreciate it and want you to pray. I felt I was suppose to share this tonight. Maybe not for me but for someone else.)

Monday, June 24, 2013

Mental Overload (When Anxiety Hits)

My gosh. Here I sit on flylady.net ready to tackle my issues with high hopes of becoming more efficient (if you haven't visited this site before you may want to). It went from a serious high in motivation to breaking out in a sweat as the realization of how far I am from efficient sets in. Now I sit burdened by the task that was suppose to help me!

Where to start?! Now THAT is the question. It is so hard to prioritize in a world where distraction is at our finger tips. Where distraction and organization now fall in the same place: The Smart Phone. Ugh. I think it's a very dumb phone if you ask me.

I strongly desire simplicity. Where paper and pencil were the first things you picked up. But now I'm engaged in this world of functioning (dysfunction) and I can't imagine living without it. . .yet I want it gone!!! My smart phone really doesn't alleviate much paper like I thought it would. It clutters my mind and heart with so much happening in the lives of people who are not connected to me on a daily basis! We've gotten used to having to know each detail about our friends and family through media that the convenience factor makes us wonder if our friends sincerely care - or if I sincerely cared before it was "top news!"

MENTAL OVERLOAD!

God help me (us). When anxiety hits even the smallest step becomes a war zone. It's paralyzing. And the only thing I can control when I am in this paralyzed state is picking my toes and biting my nails. Nice.

Here's a few things that help me when anxiety/panic hits:

-Get up and go far from the place where anxiety came!
-Go to a place where peace and happiness are found instantly
-Fix my eyes on the priority (my priority will always have two eyes and a heart)
-Engage in a way that will make me laugh

I've learned the last thing to do when anxiety takes over is to fix my mind on what I should do. You know that hole I dug for myself!? Yeah, look for the "should" and keep diggin!

It only takes a moment of engaging in what I get to do and then what I should do doesn't seem so bad anymore. Thankful one of my happy places is with my kids outside, and today just happens to be beautiful. I'll try that efficient thing again later when I feel empowered by what sustains my happy state.

*note: happiness usually causes someone else the same result

#nurturecalls


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Unintentional Can Hurt Just As Bad

I promised myself that my blog wouldn't become a journal so I haven't written in a while. One of those parameters I put on myself when I started the blog. I'm going to follow the lead and write anyway.

I've been feeling so much the past couple weeks and haven't given myself the time to really feel what I'm feeling - afraid it will be a well of endless tears and uncertainty of words to follow.

My oldest son Liam is 5 years old and just finished Pre-K. I feel so out of control. He came running to me as his teacher released him for the last time. His excitement was all for the thrill of what was happening in that moment; Mom, running around the tree with his friends, pictures, saying goodbye. My excitement was barely displayed as the sadness and reality crushed my ability to be real and present. I wanted to bawl my guts out. His teacher and I reached in for a hug and when we made eye contact it took about everything in us to not lose it in tears. I thanked her for all she has done for my son, for his friends, and for all of us parents. I felt very blank as I stood there watching it all unfold. I didn't want to say goodbye. It meant no more innocent years of childhood where clothes, skin color, hair cut and style didn't matter. He would be the underdog in a new school with new friends. . . new everything.

My current fear as a Mom is the reality that I can't see or know every little detail of Liam's life anymore. He is an individual and always has been. Though I celebrate that and encourage his independence I am faced with the reality that no matter how well I package to him that he can tell me anything, he likely wont. There are certain parts of who we are that we naturally do not share with our parents. It's difficult being a disciplinary and a friend at the same time. As a parent I often feel like an oxymoron. It's like saying "Liam, don't have sex before your married, but please tell me if you do!" I have no problem being Mom over a friend but as he gets older I realize the friend part gets more important.

I am scared as hell that I am unintentionally pushing him away from me day by day. "Mom, can you play outside with me?" "Oh not today buddy, so sorry, I have so much to do around here". . ."Mom, do you want to play a game with me!?" "Oh buddy, I would love that but. . . " "Mom will you read a book to me?" "I guess, but just one." But. But. But.

I'm afraid one morning I will wake up and wonder why I let him slip so far. And why I allowed laundry, dishes, a friend, a family member, my phone, facebook. . . more time into my heart than my kids. The thing is, none of us ever mean for it to happen. We just mean for something else to happen - and it gets in the way. Unintentionally doing something doesn't lessen the blow to the one who is receiving less than great. Unintentional can hurt just as much as intentional.

I'm not looking to be the perfect Mom. Wait. That's not true. I am. We all do. We hope to be better and hope to be perfect because our kids deserve it. Yes, they do. We did. Our parents did. We all deserve the very best. So this is where "I'm sorry" and "please forgive me" comes in cause none of us are that good.

People often say "Enjoy this time." I never like hearing it. It makes me think, "you mean, I wasn't before?" It's almost like saying to someone who is sick in bed, "take care of yourself" (yeah, thanks). It would mean so much more if we would say "I love watching you enjoy your kids."

I enjoy my children but I need some improving. I need to let this image go of a perfectly put together home. It's not happening for me and my house. I beat myself up everyday because of it and give my children less than because I enter into this "woe is me." It's not the messy house that messes them up, it's ME! Ouch.

Well, woe is me if I let it, but I wont let it. . .for long. I am going to be more intentional with my kids and focus less on all the ways I'm not good enough and need to change. I have a feeling change will come if I fix my eyes and heart on what really matters and Who it's for.


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Only One Perfect Understanding - And It's Not Mine

There was more to this post, but in consideration to those still dealing with the hurt I have decided to remove it. I will leave only this portion as we can all apply it to our lives. . .

"We cannot concern ourselves with issues that are not ours to evaluate. We have to believe that God is greater, God is bigger. We cannot cross judgement over someone's life if we do not understand. The truth is, none of us can completely comprehend anything. We are humanly flawed and divinely delivered out of our humanity when we submit our understanding for the chance of a better - His."

-Kaley

#nurturecalls





Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Undefined

It is both good and bad - defining yourself. If you are passionate about anything you will certainly make critics. Yet if you sit void with little or no opinion, offering "peace" to a world in question, I'm not sure that will create the kind of intimacy and relationship you hope for either. There has to be a balance.

All day I've been thinking "Ok, now you've done it! You started a blog... so now what?? What will you write about next??". . . and feeling this pressure! Really?! Yuck. Who the hell wants to read or be a part of anything when we feel obligated? None of us.

Honestly, I have no idea where this blog will take me. There are no words to describe the parameters of my writings as I am committed to write from the heart. I will choose to follow the leading over the force. If I feel forced, I will run far from it. And so will all of you. I have no expectations of the regularity that I post, the content I share or the length I will share it. None of that matters to me.

So... if it's ok with you I would rather leave this site undefined with use of descriptive words, but rather defined by the heart of the matter I feel lead to share.

I am committed to follow His leading and will mess up along the way because I am passionately human. I already know this.

#NurtureCalls

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

An Introduction

Each day I walk it out much the same. Trying to remain happy, composed, patient, understanding. . . hoping that it stays through the end of the night. Each morning committed to making it good day! Filling it with time spent and time being productive. Most days do not turn out the way I had hoped. But the art of motherhood is learning to be OK and at peace when it doesn't all go as planned - remaining engaged when the world around us is chaotic and uncertain.

The journey of motherhood is one so fearful and wonderful. Some days we feel empowered, confident. Some days we feel hopeless, insecure.

All of us love to the best of our ability yet we go about loving very differently. Because of this, we need each other. I need you. You need me. 

The joy of motherhood is so easily displayed by proud Moms. But hardly exposed when it's hard. In this blog I hope to do both. I want to paint a picture of what REALLY IS in order for me (and you) to find the beauty...and also the mess so that we can become better. After all, that's what it's all about.

The only way to have hope is when we are honest in our reality. 

Looking forward to this! And honestly scared that I might actually suck and disappoint whoever reads this! Ha! There are more good reasons to blog than not to. One of them being that many of you have encouraged me to do so! So here goes. . .

#NurtureCalls