The Simple Life

I love December. It’s the month I get to slow down and reflect on the year that past and prepare for the year to come.

2013 was a year of living with less (less shopping, less eating out, less commitments) so that I could have more (more time with Jesus, more time with family, more time establishing a home).

2014 is the year that I move even closer to the life I want.

A simple life filled with passion and purpose.

How do I do that? Here’s my simple plan:

SimpleMission

What Fear Tells Me…

Fear tells me that I am not an artist.

Fear tells me that “artist” is reserved for greats like Michelangelo, Monet and Picasso, not for 30-year old stay-with-child moms.

Fear tells me that my work is not art.

Do you know what fear doesn’t tell me? It doesn’t tell me that I have a college degree in fine art and have spent the past decade working professionally as a graphic designer. It doesn’t tell me that even if I don’t see myself as an artist or my work as art, others do.

Fear doesn’t like facts. It likes to hide in the shadows whispering lies and twisting the truth. Fear wants me to stay in limbo, in the gray area of uncertainty because it paralyzes me. It keeps me from dreaming and creating. It knows that making art helps me see what cannot be seen and that leads to me closer to seeing fear’s true self—small, powerless, useless.

I will not let fear tell me what I am not. Instead, I will tell fear what I am.

I am an artist and I make art.

Do not let fear tell you what you are not. Instead tell fear what you are.

If you’d like to see my art, head over to my Instagram feed. It’s where I post images of everyday objects from a different perspective. It’s a place where an almond becomes a duck’s beak and a tape dispenser becomes a snail. Enjoy!

instagram samples

I’ve Come a Long Way

Can I be honest? Sometimes I get discouraged for not having this whole parenting thing figured out. I’ve been a mom for more than two years, which equates to more than 18,000 hours! In any other area 10,000 hours qualifies me as an expert, but when it comes to parenting, I’m just a beginner.

I may still have a long way to go, but I’m so glad that I’m not where I used to be.

When I was in college, my brother told me that he would never let me babysit his future kids. EVER! (emphasis his) Something about being irresponsible…or something…I guess I wasn’t really paying attention and was too irresponsible to listen to what he was saying.

That was almost 15 years ago and since then, I’ve babysat all my nieces and nephews…all 5 of them! I’ve even volunteered with middle schoolers, high schoolers and now preschoolers…and I love it!

When I start to get discouraged about still having a long way to go on my journey as a parent, it helps to remember how far I’ve come, not just how far I have to go.

remember how far you have come, not just how far you have to go

This exchange came completely out of nowhere, took less than 30 seconds and reminds me why I love being with my daughter.

KidFish: “What’s this?”

Me: “That’s a list of the people I pray for every day.”

KidFish: “That’s how you love them.”

Sometimes the things that come out of KidFish’s mouth are so insightful and wise. I’ve never thought about prayer as an act of love, but it truly is.

Lessons from 5:27 am

5-27

Sleep is my favorite activity. I am NOT one of those super moms that wake up before the rest of the family to start the day. In fact, I have a super human ability to sleep long stretches of time. Sometimes I think I’m a koala trapped in a human body…they sleep 22 hours a day!

This morning, however, I woke up to one of “those cries.” You know, the ear piercing kind. The kind that translates into “Mom! Come get me NOW! RIGHT NOW! WHY AREN”T YOU HERE YET? I’M GOING TO KEEP SCREAMING UNTIL YOU COME!!!!!”

Eyes blurry, I looked at my clock, which read 5:27. 5:27?!? Maybe I could ignore her or pretend to be asleep. But that’s not what good moms do. Good moms get up. So I dragged my limp, lifeless body out of bed to calm her down. It was in those moments of sleepless delirium that I realized three things:

1. Treasure these moments, because it won’t always be this simple.
It’s not easy, but it’s simple now. A cuddle and a song can fix just about anything. There may come a time when my daughter experiences pain and heartbreak at a level that my cuddle cannot soothe, so I better enjoy these moments while I can.

2. I am irreplaceable.
Of the 7 billion people in the world, KidFish only has one mom—me. She will only ever have one mom. She’ll have people that come into her life that love, mentor, teach and guide her, but she’ll still only have one mom. What an awesome privilege!

3.  It’s as much for her as it is for me.
Sometimes I think that parenting is a one way street and that It’s my job to take care of her. Although for the most part it is (at least at this stage) KidFish also has the ability to take care of me in ways no one else can. I am insecure and have a deep fear of rejection, but knowing that I am the only one that can comfort her in the wee hours of the morning is healing for me.

What things go through your mind when you have to wake up at all hours of the night for your children?