Saturday, August 30, 2014

Good Stuff Saturday 8-30

 

Life has been crazy with getting ready to go back to school and actually going back to school the last two weeks. I have some great blog posts in my head and I might even get them written down this coming week. Thanks for being patient.

Photos

Island in Maine, Aspen trees, Disney Princes


Articles

Maybe we are supposed to be over the Ferguson tragedy by now, but my heart is still breaking for the whole thing.  These are not the definitive words on the situation, but they spoke to me. And this too. I just keep hoping and praying that as a teacher I can do something to make a difference.

When Ferguson, Iraq, depression, murder, missing, diseased, and death get to be too much and threaten to overwhelm me, I can find a little happiness and a little hope in Disney.  Frozen: the feels, Anna and Kristoff, Hans. And this song.

Less liking is a good thing

Small colleges are too.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Good Stuff Saturday 8-16


Photos
Norway, Tea fields, Waterfall

Articles
Patience - I'm not so good at that.

Depression isn't for the weak.

Pray for who?

Hashtags are fun.

And among all of the other horrible things that have gone on this week, to me this one seems to be the one that needs to be discussed most.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Heavy Laden

There has been a lot going on in the world lately, as well as my world. The genocide in Iraq, the racial issues in Ferguson, the murder of a teacher, a teenage runaway, the response to Robin Williams' suicide, the poorly dealt with state of mental health in this country, a friend in pain, a friend struggling with addiction, my son starting kindergarten, a sort of new assignment for me at work. Those are in no particular order because they are all swimming through my head and heart.

It has all left me feeling hopeless and helpless. I doubt there is anything I can really do as a middle class white American living in a small city in North Carolina. I don't think my prayers are strong enough. I'm not sure that God is big enough to fix it soon. I worry about all of those that will suffer before these problems are fixed. It is enough to make me want to just sit and cry. There is an overwhelming amount of pain. It takes my breath away, but it also takes my hope away. Life is hard. Then we add the injustices forced upon so many to the difficulties of simply living and I just want to curl up in a dark place and forget about it all.

I wish I had a positive thought to end on, but I don't. I'm heavy laden today and leaning on God.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Failure Sucks

 Photo Credit: Dimitris Papazimouris


This week has been a rough one. It wasn't one of those weeks that you expect to be rough. It was one that sneaks up on you. It creeped behind me just out of sight and just out of reach. More than one my husband has asked me if everything is okay this week. I've said that I'm just tired. And I thought that was it. I was just tired.

And last night in the middle of the night I realized that I'm not okay this week. I feel like a failure. Not like I just failed at one thing, but I've failed at multiple things. The failure is quickly followed by guilt. I think of all the people I have let down with my failure. And I start thinking of all the things that should have been and now aren't because of my failure. I start believing that my failure can't be rectified and that the whole course of events on the earth have been changed because of my failures.

Yes that sounds over dramatic, but lets be honest. In our moment of failure when the chains of what could have been are hanging heavily on us, aren't we all over dramatic. There are plenty of cute sayings about the good that failure does in our lives. And we know those words in our heads, but our hearts don't believe a word of it. Our hearts aren't looking for optimism. Our hearts are hurting because we found out that we are not the person that we thought we were. We didn't live up to a standard that was set before us. Often it was a standard that we set up for ourselves.

So here I am at the end of the week. I am not okay. I feel sad. Several things didn't go the way that I had planned on them going. To me that feels like failure, but maybe it isn't. Maybe it is God reminding me that it isn't about me or my plan. It's about Him and His plan. So today I'm going to take some time and look at all the things are going right. I'm going to give myself some grace and I'm going to attack some things with renewed vigor.

I might be a little down, but I'm not out.


Saturday, August 2, 2014

Good Stuff Saturday 8-2



Photos:

Penguins, Nature reclaiming its territory, Green and more green

Articles:

Famous Castaways - It isn't as unusual a phenomenon as you would think.

Planning where you are headed. That is a rather new idea to me. But make sure I am planning in the light.

We are now fighting over kids sharing? Really? These thoughts make sense to me.

Just who is a slave and who is free? Good question.

It does my heart good to hear someone speak so normally about beauty.

Parenting is hard and then going to a different culture. She is brave.

I love these thoughts about God and school.

The world is heavy with anger and darkness, but it doesn't end that way.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Doubts about Motherhood: Sleeping


Photo Credit: David J. Laporte

Sleeping is probably the most hotly contested issue surrounding newborns. Everyone has an opinion and most people are certain that their opinion is the right one and the only right one at that. Many mothers, myself included, feel shamed into silence. At least for me, I'm going to be silent no more.

In my lifetime the recommendations of the best thing to do have changed a lot. When I was a kid, babies slept on their tummies. Then sometime in my teenage years I think, babies slept on their side. And now as an adult, babies sleep on their back. All of this information and the tips that parents get from various people in their life can leave you feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. And on top of all of that, your newborn isn't sleeping!

I firmly believe that parental 'instinct' is really the voice God. God formed your child in your womb. If he made your newborn, then he knows what makes them tick. He know the quirks about them and he will share those things with you. So when your instinct tells you this kid doesn't want to be swaddled and hates his bassinet because he doesn't wants his arms free and doesn't want to touch anything when he stretches out (Ben), then God just gave you a hint about your child. When your instinct tells you this kid loves a blanket to sleep with because she wants to be cozy and has something to grab (Lily), then God just gave you a hint about your child.

Those hints can go a long way in figuring out what sleeping arrangement is best for your child. Every child is different and their specific needs are different. You can ask your relatives, your friends, and your pediatrician. They will all probably give you different answers. All of those answers can't be right for your child. In fact, none of those answers might be right for your child. After you have gathered many ideas and opinions, then ask God which one of them is best for your child. Asking others for their opinion is not a bad thing, but make sure you are able to detach their opinion from their attitude. If you can't, don't ask.

With a newborn, sleep is precious and you often don't get enough of it. When you don't get enough sleep, your normal ability to handle people and situations is lowered and your stress level is higher. So don't put yourself in a situation to get more stress. Do put yourself in a situation to get more help. Ask family or friends to help out with the baby for a few hours or a night, so you can get some rest. The more tired you get, the more exhausted you are and when you are exhausted you are more dangerous. Ask for help and get some rest.

Now that you are asking for help and you are rested, you can figure out the exact combination of things to help your child sleep. For example, Ben slept with us in our bed for two or three months. Then he slept in his car seat that was in his crib for a month or so. And finally he transitioned to sleeping in his crib on his belly with nothing around him. Lily slept in her bassinet for about half of the night and finished the night sleeping on my chest on the couch. We did this for a couple weeks. She then slept in her car seat in her crib for a few more weeks. And by 6 weeks old she was sleeping in her crib on her back on top of a pillow with a blanket over her.

Yes I have broken 'rules' with both of my children. I haven't worried about it either because I trusted what God was telling about my child was more important than the general rules that are given by society. What works for my children may not work for your children.

I am NOT advocating one particular method to help your baby sleep.

I am advocating for you to listen to God.
I am advocating for you to ask for help.
I am advocating for you to get some sleep.

I think those things are what is best for you and your child. After you have done those things, then you can work out the best way to help your child sleep.