Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Being Brave: Honesty

It takes bravery to be honest, to tell the truth to ourselves and to others. The video by Shauna Niequist at our meeting yesterday was probably the most honest part of my week. I sat with tears brimming, nodding frequently, because yes. Just yes.

So often I tell myself lies: I can do it all, I don't need help, I'm alone in this. And I'm not doing myself any favors by fibbing my way through the day.

Not only that, I'm not allowing my husband or my friends the opportunity to a.) really know me, or b.) show me how much they love me.

You may have already guessed this, but I have a problem asking for help. Help me. I am frequently dishonest when it comes to my limits, my desires, and my needs. The trick is that if you tell yourself the lie often enough, you come to believe it, and you won't be tempted to let someone else into the carefully orchestrated tornado that is your life.

Did you ever see the movie One Fine Day, with Michelle Pfeiffer and George Clooney? So funny. Anyway, there's a scene I think about sometimes when my day gets really crazy and I get a glimpse of how control-freaky I'm being: There's an argument between the two characters about her juggling all the balls, and how she doesn't trust anyone with her balls, and why should she let any of them go?

It's funny, if you haven't seen it, it's pretty great.

But anyway, the chick is totally coming unhinged because she's being forced to let someone else help her. She can't do it all, but she also can't trust another human with her weakness.

I often feel like that woman with all my balls in the air, my life precariously "perfect," pushing away the helpers, dishonest about how tired I am, and how lonely I am... And what happens when I get bumped or pushed and it all goes awry?

Well, it's not pretty.

Funny story, as I contemplated this blog post and went about my way of juggling and pleasing others and meeting every one's needs as best I could, a night went by, and I woke up to a swell of nausea and vertigo. I lay in bed, looking up at my ceiling fan, and decided I could do this. I may have the flu, or it could be a migraine, but I would try to push past it. (Isn't that what moms do?) There were lunches to be made, and bags to be packed, and kids to be woken, and...

Nope. I got up, and then crawled right back onto the bed, helplessly patting my husband to take over for me.

It's scary to ask for help. I don't do it unless I'm forced to. This morning I was forced, and it's still scary.

The "what it's" threaten to overwhelm us: What if he says no? What if he thinks I'm weak? What if I am weak? What if things don't get done? What if things get done wrong? What if, what if, what if...

What if, instead, we honestly admit we can't, and trust someone we love? What of we embrace help, embrace human imperfection, embrace our own weakness? What if we trust another person to show up for us and we aren't disappointed? And so what if we are??

Well this morning, I trusted my husband to show up, and he did. There was no guilt, there was no shame. He doesn't do things my way, he does them his way, and that's OK. The girls get a special daddy-made lunch, and I get a little break, even if I do feel like I'm dying.

I only wish this business of being honest wasn't so risky, or so hard, or so impossible.

I wish I could ask for help before I collapse from a case of the do-it-all's.

So let's check it, ladies. We're women -- human, imperfect, prone to weakness human beings. We may be really awesome, and brave, and strong too. But let's take our bravery to the next level and be truthful about when we need a helping hand, or a break, or when we just need a friend to come over for a "play-date," which is really secret code for "I really need a friend right now, please come talk to me about grown-up things, and bring your big words, please."

Because you know that's the truth.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

It Works for Me - Yesnia's Table

Yesenia J - To avoid using yucky restrooms at the park, bring a portable potty and a few diapers - size 6. Put the diapers inside the potty. After the child uses the potty, wrap up the diaper & throw it away!

Kelly D- Gives her daughter 2 outfits to choose from every morning. She gets to make the choice of what she wants to wear without a battle.

Dana M - Daughter doesn't like to wear socks. Dana buys solid colored socks and turns them inside out. The seams are on the outside where they can't "poke" her feet!

Amanda B & Amy D - Great minds think alike! Amanda & Amy buy the pouches of rotisserie chicken at Costco! It's great for putting together quick dinners  - such as enchiladas, soups, ect.

Carolyn S - Every parent needs a break! Carolyn and her siblings would take turns watching each others children on the weekends. Each couple would get a night or weekend to themselves!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Mom of the Month: September 2014

M.O.M. (Mom of the Month) - September
DeAndra T.

1.) Who is in your family?

My family consists of my husband Matthew, our son Jesse (6), our daughter Gia (4), and half of our time we have our part-time kids (nephews) Jayden and Lawrence.

2.) What is your favorite childhood memory?

My favorite childhood memory is from my junior high years. I would lay in bed with my sister Payton who is two years younger than me and tell her all my "super cool" stories from school.

3.) What is your favorite thing about MOPS?

My favorite thing about MOPS is the weird cheesy potato thing that someone ALWAYS brings. There are mornings when I am too tired to function and wanted to skip MOPS, but those cheesy potato things got me out of bed.

4.) If you had a day to yourself, what would you do?

If I had a day to myself, honestly, I would eat junk food and mindlessly watch tv until I was so full that I'm on the brink of exploding and then call my grandpa to hang out with me.

5.) What is your favorite caffeinated beverage?

My favorite caffeinated beverage is some organic coffee from Trader Joes that habitually resides in my cabinets, mixed with chocolate almond milk...but it has to be delivered to me in bed... by my husband, before I can get out of bed.... oh! And I it can't be after I've begged him for 30 minutes to bring it to me.

6.) What is one piece of advice that you would share with other moms?

The best advice I could ever give to any mom sounds cliche, but I am being 100% sincere... is to live by Proverbs 3:6--Seek His will in all you do and He will direct your paths... I have learned that all I have to do is ask, listen, and be willing to obey. The Lord will provide more than enough wisdom to live a life that is blessed beyond measure!

Friday, September 5, 2014

A Word from Your Coordinator!

Here we are, about ready to kick off a new year together at MOPS! This year’s theme is Be You, Bravely and I can’t wait to embrace this with all of you! What does it mean to accept who I am, how I am uniquely created and step out in courage? What does that even look like? We all wear so many hats in our relationships as mother, sister, friend, daughter, wife, colleague, neighbor….the list goes on and on. If we can be more brave in our daily life, how much of a difference will that make in our own hearts, and in the world around us?! There is no better way to build up courage than in the context of community…at MOPS!

MOPS at Big Valley Grace is an amazing community of moms! We are all incredibly different, with different families and different backgrounds, and we come together and encourage each other, and embrace the differences amongst us. I love that SO much! I love that we have a place to come and hear that we aren’t alone, and that someone else understands how it is mothering little kids. This is a very special and difficult time of parenting, and mothers with young children are statistically the most lonely group. I hope that your time with MOPS this year brings you to a new place in your life; that it brings you to a place with real relationships, with a new perspective on life, and to know more about the loving God that created us all!

I’m so excited to see old friends and meet new ones!! Are you ready for Tuesday!?? We will have a great time, meeting your table, learning about what’s going to happen this year, meeting your new leaders and possibly winning a raffle! We can’t wait to see you then!

Heather Blass