Yesterday, I watched my second born girl as she jumped off of a spring-board, into the deep end of the pool. She is a decently strong swimmer, but it had been over a year since she had jumped into such deep water. I reminded her that when jumping in so deep with a spring-board giving you a boost, you tend to go further toward the bottom, and it takes more effort to swim back to the surface. She assured me she would be fine (and she was), so I watched as she jumped off the board with a spirit of confidence, made a nice splash, but quickly popped back up to the surface. I noticed that even though she made the jump with confidence, she seemed to have a keen awareness of the deep water, so she adjusted herself quickly in order to not sink too far, too fast. Nevertheless, she claimed the deep end as hers, and jumped right in.
With this, my first ever blog post, I will try to approach it with that same spirit of cautious confidence that my Sylvie showed me yesterday. This is something I have wanted to do for quite some time, so I’m finally going to claim it as mine, and jump right in.
In recent months, I have been listening to some great podcasts, mostly about parenthood. After the first few, I found myself hitting pause in order to stop and grab a sticky note. Every time I heard a “nugget of wisdom” that really applied to my motherhood, I wrote it down with a Sharpie and placed that sticky note on my kitchen wall, above the toaster and our pet beta fish, Bob. I currently have nine sticky notes on the wall, and they serve as a daily reminder of the wisdom of others, who have walked this walk through parenthood. A few of the sticky notes are taken from our own family treasure chest of wisdom, and I’m going to share of few of my sticky notes with you, in hopes they might strike a chord in your own motherhood, parenthood, or otherhood.
- WHERE’S YOUR AMEN? This is something we say in our family, and it began when our youngest, Elin, began to talk. After saying grace before a meal, or bedtime prayers, we would prompt Elin by asking, “Where’s your Amen?!” We did this mostly because once she learned how to say AMEN, we all thought it was the cutest thing ever, so we wanted to hear it as often as possible. One evening during dinner, she said her big AMEN, and it hit me that we should apply this as a family mantra, focusing on the deeper meaning behind the question, “Where’s your Amen?” A commonality among the average human, is the quickness we have to complain, even when things are going well for us. I often remind my girls to “have gratitude on your breath” which is another way of saying, “Where’s your Amen?” When you find yourself complaining, stop and recognize it, and ask yourself that question. Where’s your Amen…..what can you shift your focus to, and be grateful for in that moment? Find your Amen.
- ONE BASKET LIVING. The story of Sylvie’s birth is long, profound, JOYFUL, but a bit difficult to share, and will likely be done in a future blog post. I will say that the notion of One Basket Living comes from our walk of faith through that time in our lives. Since we said “I do” we have walked through our marriage in faith, and with Christ at the center of us. It wasn’t until one singular moment during my traumatic labor with Sylvie, that we fully understood what it means to place every ounce of your faith directly in the hands of God. To truly and fully rely on Him takes focus and effort, and above all else, FAITH. It is, put another way, One Basket Living……placing your every proverbial egg into one singular basket, turning over everything you have, to God. 1 Peter 5:7
- RESPOND IN GRACE. I heard this during one of the first podcasts I listened to, and this was my very first sticky note. It is one of the hardest things to do sometimes, especially in the thick of mothering my girls. I am learning that unless you were born with an outrageous gift of patience (I was not), achieving the ability to respond in grace, just takes time and practice. Responding in grace, means putting your own gut response/reaction ON THE SHELF, during those tougher moments of parenthood, when that gut response is to react badly, shouting, “What on earth are you thinking, child?!?!” God gives us the gift of grace, readily, easily, and repeatedly. Why not extend a similar grace to your children, or those around you? The older we get, the more we become set in our own way of doing things. It is so easy to be quick to harshly judge…to reprimand….to correct….to scold. Those things are all meant to destruct, rather than to construct through encouragement. Sometimes all it takes is a handful of grace. Can you think of a time when someone offered you a bit of grace? Be the one to give grace freely. Of course, in the heat of motherhood or otherhood, this is easier said than done. But try it! Practice makes (not at all perfect) better.
I want to close this blog post by saying thank you for reading it! Please share it with someone you know who might be encouraged by my words. What does your sticky note life look like? What are some nuggets of wisdom that have carried you through a time? Please feel free to share yours in the comments below!