The Impossible

That time my sister and I presided over the butchering of a cow on her chemo day while devastated by the loss of our Noah. We learned that day just how tough we could be. Hear more about this story on The Lemonade Stand podcast.

My Amazing Angie. She’s everything.
Matching Mama Bears. Don’t aggravate us when we’re hungry and don’t mess with our cubs.
Oh, just drinkin coffee, butcherin cows, gettin ready for chemo and stuff.


I have no idea how we ever pulled this off. I do know that if it had to be done, I’d want it to be with you. Here’s to that hellish day, and to every cancer free day since. I love you.

Reba Rae

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Hurricanes and Stuff

Me and my laptop and phone calls and hurricanes and stuff…

Here I sit, alone in a quiet house.  (I know, how did THAT happen???)  My youngest is at a birthday party and my oldest is at youth group.  I’ve done everything I can do for work today to prepare an assisted living for the coming hurricane.  Yeah, sure, why not a hurricane?  Just another layer in the pile of losses and challenges this year has brought our way.

Some moments, I feel like Lieutenant Dan in the movie Forrest Gump, climbing up to the lookout of the boat and shouting to the storm, or to God, “Bring it on!!”  I could probably do with a good scream out in the middle of a whipping wind and driving rain.  (If any of ya’ll hear me tomorrow night during the hurricane, just keep on about your business.)  For real, this year has been no joke for any of us.  For me, just like everyone, it’s been one wild challenge after the next.  

Sitting here in the quiet, this passage of scripture becomes very real to me.  “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”  James 1:1-3

Trials of many kinds… I’m pretty sure those verses were written with the year 2020 in mind.  No matter how I dread the fact, these words just hold true.  The testing develops perseverance.  I used to have a “weak stomach.”  I once fainted during a simple blood test.  Then I became a mom.  After giving birth, a small needle stick no longer seemed so daunting.  Once I faced and survived major pain, the smaller, annoying pains just didn’t phase me like they once had.  Except teeth.  I still can’t deal with teeth.  Thank God my kids are past that stage!  But I digress…

Ya’ll, let’s not lose heart.  We are developing perseverance.  We can look forward to maturity and completeness, and the peace of the knowledge that even when we seem to lack everything, we are actually not lacking anything.  We can have joy, even when the world is in chaos and life is a mess. This isn’t Pollyanna talking.  It’s just a girl with a lump in her throat and tears in her eyes, but a stubborn belief that these words are real and these promises are true.  If not now, when?  If I don’t develop more maturity this way, then how?  I’m giving myself plenty of grace, plenty of rest, icing down the emotional “muscles” that are getting overworked during these perseverance sessions, and reminding myself that growth isn’t comfortable but it’s worth it.  This problem will make me better at surviving the next problem without losing my sparkle.  Not. Lacking. Anything.

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The Write Time

Sometimes life has a way of distracting us from the things we love to do (ya’ think?). For me, it’s time to take back control and make time to do the things that give life to me and those I love. So here I am, with some words and ideas and love to share. It’s time. Hope you come along and find some inspiration, laughter, purpose and joy.

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Shrinkin’ Thinkin’

Sometime at the end of 2013 and Mardi Gras 2015

Sometime at the end of 2013 and Mardi Gras 2015

So just for fun, I made one of these:

Lil bit of a difference huh? I think so. I’m not sure how much difference in weight because I have not been friends with the scale in quite a while. I’m somewhere around 40 inches lost altogether.

First and foremost I’d like to say that I found no shortcut, no quick fix, no magic pill. Boy do I wish there were a magic pill. There isn’t. I took advantage of a two for one offer at Ultimate Change fitness boot camp and a year later this is me. I get up at 5am and exercise for an hour. I’ve slowly made a few changes in my food intake, mostly focusing on learning hunger and fullness sensations. I’ve learned a few things along the way.

1) Exercise is my friend. I’ve always hated exercise. Even in elementary school I couldn’t run a mile. I never played a sport. Most times I enter a gymnasium my head seems to come in unfortunate contact with a ball. But I’ve made peace with my old enemy exercise and have learned she’s kind of a bitch at first but when you get to know her she is worth your time. I’m sleeping better than ever. I’m noticing an increase in overall ability and a decrease in stress level. And you’d be surprised what an hour of hard effort at 5:00 does to your willpower when somebody drops donuts on your desk at 10:00.

2) My body already knows what to do. If my emotions would just shut up and let her tell me. If I’m really honest, and if I slow down enough to hear it, my body lets me know how much food is enough. It’ll also tell me to pass by the cake and pick up the apple. It’ll tell me to drink water, eat wholesome stuff, and take a walk. My emotions on the other hand, they want the cake, the donuts, the cookies and ALL the wine…all in front of the TV. My intellect is currently trying to become more skilled as a mediator between the two.

3) This stuff takes time!!! Probably forever. Whoever said it only takes 30 days to make a habit does not grasp the depth of my love for frosting, casseroles, and bread. This is why I don’t weigh. There were people around me when I first started who dropped 20 pounds in a month. I became so frustrated with the scale and the lack of rapid decrease in my own weight that I just quit it. Over the past year I’ve let go of the start to finish idea. Yes there was a time when I didn’t take care of myself. Therefore I have a start date, a time I began learning how to take care of myself. However, I don’t plan to QUIT taking care of myself which eliminates the finish line. Even though I do want to reach a certain size/weight range, I’ve stopped thinking in terms of “when I’m done losing weight” and started thinking about getting better and better at taking care of my body mind and heart.

4) My health is important. One of my cousins was recently diagnosed with early diabetes. My dad is diabetic. My grandfather was. Several of my dad’s cousins are/were diabetic. (I say were because some have already left us for that special place in heaven for diabetics where Jesus makes all the cookies.) This newly diagnosed cousin is a little closer to my age. Yikes. And when the doctor found out he was in the Jeffries family, he was immediately familiar with the situation. You know it’s bad when your family has a reputation for diabetes, heart disease, and weight issues at the local clinic, when the mention of your family name elicits a knowing look from the physician. All that to point out that though vanity certainly is part of my motivation for learning to take care of myself, I definitely have bigger fish to fry. (Hehe…See what I did there?) I’m motivated by looking better, yes, but also by the idea of a possible future without insulin injections, heart surgeries, and strokes. I’m motivated by being able to do more reps than I did last week, by running a mile without stopping for the first time in my life. I’m motivated by the ability to look up at the morning or afternoon sky and enjoy being alive without dreading the sweat and shortness of breath. I’m motivated by the pleasure of getting out there and releasing my frustrations, replacing them with a nice feeling of accomplishment.

Part of living life to the fullest is learning to take care of myself lovingly and positively. It’s a long learning process for an obsessive unrealistic perfectionist like me who wants things done right and done quick. Knowing this tendency would trip me up, I didn’t set out that first month at boot camp to eventually show a before and after. I don’t like calling it that because I’m not moving toward an after, I’m just moving forward. I’m sharing now because hey, it’s cool after months of slow progress to see the visual. And also because among the chorus of quick fixes and Dr. Oz’ s latest weight loss tricks, and all the other people yelling about what diet and which exercise works, SOMEBODY needs to share the real stuff, and somebody needs to talk about self care from the premise that everyone’s already lovely and all of us could use some help taking better care of our whole beings in some way. I hope it motivates you to do somethin nice for yourself.Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Wasted Worry

Ever since I read Fight Back With Joy, I’ve been thinking a lot about my level of worry or anxiety.  My daughter Mackenzie and I were having a conversation the other morning and I tried to share with her what’s been brewing inside me on this subject.

Mackenzie and I were in the kitchen and over cooking breakfast she told me about an awful nightmare she had.  In her dream, her little brother had been hurt and she couldn’t help him.  Mackenzie being the amazing big sister she is (12 years older than her little bro) and the kind soul she is, felt shaken deeply by the dream.  I could identify.  I felt her pain.  When Mackenzie was small, sometimes feelings of anxiety would overwhelm me and I couldn’t leave her or let her go with someone else because I was afraid she’d be hurt.  I lived in fear of car accidents or broken bones or kidnapping.  Sometimes I still do.  But you know what??

None of that has ever happened.

Ya’ll I’ve worried myself sick over stuff that’s NEVER HAPPENED.

Now some horrible stuff HAS happened to me, but I noticed as I considered this that I never worried about any of the stuff that actually occurred.  They always came on without warning as tragedies tend to do, and I had no inkling that I needed to be afraid those things would happen.   I was never scared that my ex-husband would leave me for another woman, or that my superhero daddy might have a terrible stroke, or that a hurricane might turn my life upside down, or that one of my darling friends might get cancer. When those horrors DID occur, you know what?  We got through. We’re getting through. God sustained us, provided for us, healed us, drew us closer together.  And it’s all right.  There has been sufficient grace for every awful moment in my life so far.

This proves two things:  One, I’m absolutely terrible at predicting the future.  Sorry if you were hoping I’d hang a neon sign on my door and open for business.  It’s not looking good.  And two, God is very good at being God and I need not attempt to do His job for Him.

The absence of worry!!

The absence of worry!!

So why do I waste my time with worry and anxiety?  I was sharing with Mackenzie after her nightmare that even though life can and likely WILL hand me some terrible things, I’m often haunted by fears of things that most likely won’t occur.  Why spend time worrying and entertaining anxious thoughts of things that probably WON’T happen?  I’ve got to trust God to get me through the bad stuff that does happen, but I can’t predict what that stuff will be, so why take away from the joy of what IS by trying to be clairvoyant about potential pain?  Ya’ll, I can BREATHE… quit braking on the passenger side, and enjoy the ride.

This is not to say that anxiety or worry won’t come knocking.  Sometimes I get overwhelmed, blindsided by a fear or a sudden horrific thought.  But it occurs to me that I don’t have to entertain the thoughts.  I don’t have to sit in them or let them take over.  I can go back to trust, back to grace.  I can shift my focus to something joyful.  I can fight back with joy, embrace the grace that has been extended to me, and be grateful for the wonderful things in my life.

They’re there, you know.  The wonderful things.  The fairies far outnumber the monsters in my world.

So how do you do it?  How do you fight the fears that threaten you?  How do you control the temptation to worry wastefully?Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Fighting Back, Guns Blazin’!

Done any life-changing reading lately?  I have.

Fight Back With Joy by the lovely Mrs. Margaret Feinberg reduced me to a puddle.  It ate my lunch.  Blew my mind.

I loved it.

Joy is the prize.  The cheese.  The coveted jewel of every life, no matter what race, class, or religion.  We all want it, we all NEED it, but few of us master it or REALLY live lives marinated in joy or defined by joy.  Who wouldn’t want a joyful life?

I certainly do.  Or I SAY I do.  And yet, so many days I choose to fight my battles with irritability, anxiety, nervous energy.  I fight with caffeine, chocolate, or macaroni and cheese.  I fight with closed-fisted anger, or seething sarcasm.  I fight with eloquent arguments. (If you don’t think I can make a good argument, just ask my husband.)  Sometimes I don’t fight, but I retreat under the covers or hide behind a busy schedule or zone out on social media.

But what if I fought with joy?  What if joy were more than an elusive state of happiness and well being?  What if it were more than a fleeting feeling I get when everything goes my way?  What if, instead of letting joy slip away when I’m faced with a battle, I picked it up and FOUGHT, using it as my weapon?  What if I ran into the battlefield of life, screaming like a banshee, with the sword of JOY glinting in the sun?  What if JOY was the weapon with which I slay the dragon of stress, slice up the monster of pain?  What if joy were what I slide back into the sheath as I stand over the slain giant of loss, foot propped on its chest like a winner?  And what if, in learning to use joy as my weapon to fight life’s battles, I ended up with a life FULL of joy?

morethanwhimsyThat’s what Margaret’s book suggests and what, in fact, she decided to do when she received a devastating diagnosis of cancer.  Fight Back With Joy is the account of her training in the weaponry of joy, and if you’re interested in learning how to wield joy as a weapon it’s the place to begin.  I’ve enjoyed Margaret’s work for a long time, and was saddened to see her diagnosis when she shared it with her readers.  She’s been to hell and back but the product is a book that challenged me in the kind of deep, meaningful, more-than-churchspeak-cliche’s-I’ve-heard-a thousand-times way I was starving for.

I’ve got a nephew who shoots sporting clays professionally.  He started as a kid with an old beat up shotgun and a knack for shooting, but he got good.  Really good.  And along the way he’s amassed quite the collection of guns.  A hundred year old gun that belonged to our great grandfather.  A brand new state of the art gun that is worth more than a small car.  He’s got all KINDS of guns because he’s GREAT at using them.  If we think of joy as a weapon, and start fighting back our demons with it, I’ll bet we’d end up with quite the arsenal in our proverbial weapons case.

I read Fight Back With Joy in a few short days, mostly on my lunch breaks.  I read with tears rolling down my cheeks and with resolve growing in my gut.  I needed to hear it, needed to know it.  The last post I wrote, I was headed into the new year, struggling with fear of the unknown.  Enter Fight Back With Joy and my perspective has shifted.  I’m still a lil scared.  What if that other shoe DOES drop?  What if…?  I don’t even know.

What I DO know is that I don’t have to sit back in fear.  I have a weapon.  More than just a salve for my wounds, or a bandage for my broken heart, joy is a WEAPON I can use to guard my life.  I can USE it.  Pick it up, wave it around, practice with it, FIGHT with it.  It’s a strategy that puts me on the offense.  I ain’t no helpless lil’ thang out here just waiting for the next horror to take me down.  I’m a woman, a warrior, with joy as my defiance against a hopeless, sad existence.

Ya’ll.  I love this.  I love the idea of defying the difficulties of life with one of the fruits of God’s Holy Spirit:  Joy.  I love the thought of choosing to celebrate, practice, seek out and create joy as a way to avoid giving in to the sorrow and despair so prevalent in our world.  I gotta admit, I’ve got some target practice to do.  But I’m ready to get to it.  I’m ready to tackle life with my joy guns blazin’!  How about you?

You can get Fight Back With Joy on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.  Go.  Get it.  Read it.  Or get some of your tribe together and ya’ll study it.   Tell me what you think!!

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It’s a new year!  And I’m kinda scared…

Just telling the truth.

I’m having a hard time being positive.  Do you ever feel like that?  Like you’re waiting for the other shoe to drop?  Like you know everything’s good but are ever looking for whatever might lurk ahead?  Like you can’t fully appreciate the beauty of now because you let imagined and real fears steal the moment?

Just me, huh?  🙂

I’ve been thinking about resolutions and wanting to make some and yet have felt kind of paralyzed by the what-if’s of 2015.  It’s a new year.  A new slate.  Another gift.  And yet what if if holds things that hurt?  This is so depressing isn’t it???

This morning I cried while telling my husband how I feel like I should be past this.  I feel like it’s a rookie faith mistake and like God deserves better from someone He’s brought so far.  I mean at some point, faith comes outside the Sunday School and enters the everyday choices of a believer’s life.  That’s when the real adventure is.  I’m not a rookie.  I’ve been following Jesus a long time. So what do I do?

Here’s what:

1)  Reflect on where I’ve been with God.  See, God and I have been some bad places already and He was enough.  He will be enough no matter what the future brings.  I have His impeccable track record to go by.

2)  Release my grip.  Even in the face of fear, I can make a choice to open my clenched emotional fist and let go of my expectations, good and bad.  I can choose to trust Romans 8:28 and believe the truth of it.

3)  Run toward my life.  Once I’ve made a choice to trust God, I am free to embrace life and not resist it.  I don’t need to back up, or even walk timidly forward.  I can RUN right into my great big overwhelming life.

Fear happens.  Sometimes the feeling is more intense for me than others.  I think it’s not the presence of fear, but how we deal with it that makes the difference.   So even though I feel like a big chicken, I am not going to BECOME a chicken.  Chickens aren’t really notorious for joyous living, ya know?  True believers on the other hand… well, they ARE.  So I’m gonna go ahead and resolve away, alright??  Alright.

2015 Resolutions:

* Make some basic doctor appointments and dental appointments, (Another fear to overcome)  and keep working toward a healthier life by continuing my exercise and continuing to practice balance in my diet.

* Do something I’m not sure I can do.

*  Laugh more.

*  Unplug one night each week.

*  Take a family vacation.

So there they are, out there for the world to see.  My resolutions for the year 2015.  Bring it on!!

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Pig Lips

Today was a Monday after an insane weekend.  In. Sane.

Friday evening started the weekend with a bang when a friend who was babysitting our kids needed to leave early because of her little girl’s fever.  And vomit.  Nothing like coming home to vomit on a Friday night, huh?  We were worried for our little friend and I fought the knot that forms in every mama’s gut when she braces herself for the possible onslaught of contagious illness.  I worried too much.  Anyway, during the night our little friend’s fever kept going up and by Saturday she was admitted to the hospital with nothing contagious it turns out, but no less scary.

Hair Color Crazy

Hair Color Crazy

Saturday started with a long awaited haircut to which I dragged my babysitterless boys.  I threatened and promised punishment and reward for their good behavior at the salon.  They were good.  Exceptionally so, actually.  Still a mama can’t really relax when she knows what danger lurks nearby, what thin ice she’s on when she brings young boys to fancy salons and expects them to be quiet, not fight, and not break anything.  When paying the going rate these days for a trendy cut and color, I frankly was sad not to get to relax and fully enjoy the salon experience.  Still, I was desperate for a haircut and completely without a sitter so I pressed on and got it done, grabbing an extra kid (our little sick friend’s brother) on the way home.  Into the rest of Saturday I some how crammed voting, steak dinner at our house with friends, and dropping off and picking up my daughter from a party at City Park, along with dropping off a jacket to my friend at the hospital. (Think multiple trips from one end of New Orleans to the other, honey.)

Sunday morning was a trip to my friend’s house to feed and potty her dogs, then to WinnDixie for coffee (how do I let myself run out of that?) and other stuff needed.  Then house church, then cooking and trying to make the house halfway ready for Mackenzie’s SEVENTEENTH birthday party.  (Breakdown is scheduled for later over the fact that my girl is SEVENTEEN.)

Birthday Shenanigans

Birthday Shenanigans

You know what else I got at Winn Dixie?  Her cake.  (I type this with red-faced shame.)  I got my culinary school student, pastry professional daughter a Winn Dixie cake for her birthday.  Ugh, I so wanted her to have something wonderful and special but time and life ran away from me and she got a grocery store premade, picked up on the morning of her birthday.  The kind they keep in the case for losers who don’t order their cakes ahead of time.  (I’ll be sure to mention that in my mother of the year award acceptance speech…  he he.)

We partied, did dog duty again, hospital again and fell in bed Sunday exhausted.  Monday dawned and I felt yucky, didn’t go exercise, ran into every imaginable obstacle getting my extra kid to school and getting myself to work.  There was dog poop involved and well… I can’t do dog poop.  I have a thing.  Anyway, by the time I got to work, I was overdue for a good cry.  Way overdue.  No big deal you might think, but I’ve written before about how we really count on our weekends for rest and recharge. I’ve let myself get away from such frantically paced weekends.  I’ve not been training for the marathon of crazy that was this weekend.  I felt overwhelmed.  Completely overwhelmed.  So much joy and worry and laughter and huge milestones and frustrations and blessing all in such a short time.

The day wore on and, being Monday, didn’t go easy on me but brought its usual challenges at work.  Then… it happened.

Somebody offered me a bite of pig lip.  Seriously.  As pretty as you please, someone walked up to me, held out the pig lip and said as they chewed enthusiastically “You want a bite of my pig lips?”

And with that wonderfully weird statement, my heart let go of the worries and gave in to the fun.  The tension was broken with an absurd statement that set me free to embrace the totally bizarre and just GO WITH IT.

I know what you’re wondering and no.  I didn’t accept the offer of the pig lip.  But I DID get the blessing of a wacky moment that ushered humor and laughter and silliness into my day.

Those pig lips were my breakthrough. (Can I get a witness?)

All the way home I giggled about the pig lips and realized all over again that I’ve got to laugh.  I’ve got to embrace joy.  I’ve got to refuse to get so bogged down in the dailies that I miss the funny, wonderful, wild, random moments that bring comic relief to life.

It was a reminder I needed today.  Also how many times in life does a girl get to write about pig lips???  Seizing the day, my friends!

How do you like the new color?

How do you like the new color?

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Give it a Rest

Happy First Sunday of Advent!!

As this Christmas season begins, I have one objective:  To “Give it a Rest!”

Ya’ll know what I mean.  I’ve lost 20 pounds but I want to go just one more size down.  I’m doing great in my career, but well… I’m bored sometimes.  I’ve got projects and lists and school things to accomplish with the kids.  There’s controversy and politics.  There are points to be made and cases to be argued. I need to get a bigger savings account, a different haircut, a pedicure for heaven’s sake.  I need a more perfect marriage, need to push harder, need to think more creatively.  I need to write another freakin’ book already!!!

Ugh!  Give it a rest!!!  What I have is enough.  Who I love is enough.  He Who Loved Me First is enough.

It’s time.  Emmanuel is calling me to peace.  It’s time to enjoy, time to love, time to revel, time to cherish, time to laugh.

It’s Christmas, ya’ll!  The Child is born for us.  For me.

Let’s give the running and pushing and stressing a rest.  Let’s simply unwrap the Gift, shall we?Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather


Do you ever feel fuzzy?  Distracted?  I do!  My mind is SO full of things.  Thoughts are whizzing this way and that.  My great big wonderful life brings tons of items to my to-do list.

My family about to enter the crowd at the PoBoy Festival!

My family about to enter the crowd at the PoBoy Festival!  Look behind them you can see the sea of people!

It’s like standing in a huge crowd.  A PoBoy Festival, for example.

There are so many voices going on around that you can’t hear anything, or all you hear is the hum of the crowd, or if you strain to eavesdrop you might hear the one conversation of the person next to you.  I think this creates that fuzzy, distracted feeling and that tendency to focus (or not focus) on something else entirely.   Crowds can be overwhelming, but usually they’re there because something is WONDERFUL.  (Hello, fried green tomato, bacon and remoulade poboy!!)

Caleb drowning out the crowd!!

Caleb drowning out the crowd!!

It’s tough to deal with a crowd, but hiding from it means hiding from my life.  Not acceptable.   No crowd, no poboy if you know what I mean. I usually hide away from the crowd through mindless activity (like social media trolling) that lessens the crowd noise but doesn’t really do anything to thin the crowd at all.

This is a huge problem for me.  I love my big ol’ crazy life.  All of it!  Sometimes it can just be overwhelming and I tend to zone out rather than deal with the tidal wave.   It happens before I know it, and then I’ll “wake up” to half a day gone, or a deadline missed, or just feeling like I can’t enjoy my life.

You’ve heard the old saying “How do you eat an elephant?  (or a POBOY?) One bite at a time!”  In order to keep from getting helium balloon head and floating away from my life, I’ve got to employ the elephant eating philosophy.

Here are a few elephant bites that help bring me out of a fog:


1)  Find out what I’m about.  The crowd of voices in my head stems from all the wonderful things I’ve willingly brought into my life, but some voices come from other things too.  I’ve got to identify the things I love, what I’m about, where I want to go.  When I know that, I can tell the unwanted voices to Shut. It.   So what am I about??  My faith, my family, my friends, my career, and some side interests like good books, good music, good writing, and good food.  Throw in one more dash of feminine adventure just for me and that’s it. These things are my main things.  These are the voices I need to hear.  If it doesn’t come from one of these categories… then shut it.  For me, this would include multi-level marketing (learned that the hard way), overseas mission trips, knitting my own sweaters, and learning to sew.  All awesome things, but none that fit in with my life at this time.

Transitioning home to these darlings is fun!!

Transitioning home to these darlings is fun!!

2)  Make appointments.  Yes.  I make appointments with myself.  Nowhere near as much as I should, but I do it.  I use my phone alarm to remind me of these appointments.  We were visiting with my mom and dad recently and my phone alarm went off at 8am while we were eating breakfast.  Caleb said “Nana, it’s time for English!”  My mom asked what he was talking about and I explained that I use my alarm sounds to remind me when to move to the next thing.  Sometimes that little noise brings me out of the fog and gets me back on track.    I don’t want to be a drone dependent upon my smartphone to direct me.  I see the phone as my secretary.  My personal assistant who sounds off to remind me what we’ve got going today.  If only it could pour me coffee and rub my shoulders too!

3)  Re-evaluate.  Every so often I’ve got to take inventory of what I’m doing and evaluate whether it is effective.  Sometimes as we change, kids grow, life morphs and strategies that used to work don’t fit so well anymore.  Lately the routine of waking the kids up after my shower isn’t working well.  I’ve had trouble getting the kids fed and started on schoolwork on time.  So we’re trying a new strategy where they are responsible for waking up on their own and getting to the table.   At 16 and 11, they’re big enough to begin learning to get themselves up, and it saves a step for me in the morning.


The hubs and me at work!

The hubs and me at work!

4)  Learn to transition.  Every morning on my way into work, I enter the house through a back door and walk down a long hallway toward the time clock.  I use that hallway as my transition.  I take a deep breath.  I let go of what we did or didn’t get done that morning at home and transition to business mode.   I’m learning to give what I’ve got while I can, be entirely present, and then when it’s time to move on I can let go and move on knowing I’ll be back to that task again tomorrow.  On the way out, guess what?  Same hall.  Deep breath.  Work is over and time to transition to mom again.  I find the transition at the end of the day to be more difficult than the beginning.  Often I walk in my front door and greet my family still grinding my teeth over the work day.  I want to learn to more effectively shake off the work day and fully embrace wife and mom once again.

5)  Re-fuel.  It’s important to take intentional breaks.  Last weekend we had a little getaway.  No school.  No work.  All fun.  It was

Takin' a break at the BEACH!!  My favorite place to refuel!

Takin’ a break at the BEACH!! My favorite place to refuel!

awesome!  I try to use my lunch break each day as a rest time.  I usually bring my kindle and read something I’m enjoying or something encouraging.  I take more deep breaths.  I sit in the quietest, most private spot available.  I can’t be “on” all the time or I’ll find myself totally “off.”

It’s so easy when we have lives crammed full of…. well… LIFE, to become overwhelmed.  It’s easy to slip off into a fog of distraction because there’s just too much going on.  I just don’t want to settle for fogged up, fuzzed out, life on autopilot.  These are ways I’m trying to keep myself engaged and in tune, so that I can really live, really love, really embrace the life I have.Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather