Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Joining the Ranks

What an entirely cynical title.

I've spent the past few months quietly fuming and praying about crummy decisions a family member is making.  Hoping the switch will flip and her brain will turn back on to smart mode.  But it hasn't happened.  As her behavior worsens, my fuming has become more vocal.  In the past few days, I have started to rant to anyone who will listen.  Not a good sign on my end.

Today I found out she crossed the line.  The line that makes us set our own boundaries and build up our walls.

I shouldn't have to feel like I need to protect my kids from their aunt.  We shouldn't have to worry about what will come up missing from our garage or when (not if) our home will be broken into.

Steal it, sell it, get your fix.

Break into your own grandmother's house while she is sick in the hospital.

I'm furious.  I'm hurt.

I'm not alone.

Raise your hand if you have a family member like this.  If you are raising your grandchildren because your own children are too strung out to be parents.  If you can't trust your ex around your kids or your home.  If you have had to get a restraining order against a loved one.  If you've watched someone become unrecognizable as addiction distorts them.  If you've done all you can to protect a loved one from an abuser and watched them go back... again... and again....

This is my first time.  Not the first time I've been hurt by a family member.  Not the first time our family has had conflict.  Not the first time I've struggled to forgive a wrong.

The first time I can say we lock our doors to keep family out.  The first time we have had to tell our children to never leave school with auntie if she stops by and says she is there to pick them up.  The first time we have decided we will not be inviting her to another birthday or bbq because of what might come up missing.  The first time we have stopped offering to help our own flesh and blood.

We have joined the ranks.

Ironically, my girls picked Family Relationships this week in our high school group.  We've talked about relationships with siblings and parents and God's expectations of how we respond to our family and love our family.  This week is about healing hurts caused by family.

Well, my wound is pretty raw right now.  My husband and I are reeling... and we really aren't even the victims. I'm not quite sure if my reactions are very "Christian".  I know I have had to fall on the floor and pray for forgiveness for the thoughts I am having and the words I am saying, for strength to forgive her and His love to fill my heart so I won't wish hell on the people she is with.  It's awful.

While I work through the forgiveness, I am preparing myself for the worst.  I'm struggling to find the balance.

We refuse to enable.  We refuse to become enmeshed.  We refuse to participate, at any level, in her unhealthy behavior.

I want her to know she is loved.  I want her to know I am continually praying for her.  I want her to know my heart is breaking in pieces for her.  I want her to know she is better than this.

I want her to know we will never bail her out. I want her to know we will never give her money.  I want her to know we will be the first to call the police if she gives us reason.

I want her to know our kids have wept in church because they know she is "making bad choices".  I want her to know we have done our best to not discuss grown-up issues in front of them, and all we can do is hug them and cry with them.  I want her to know she isn't fooling anyone... not even her five-year old niece.

And I want her to know... most of all.... that the God who holds the universe is jealous for her.  He loves her with an everlasting love.  He has paid the price.  There is nothing she has done or could do to ever change that.  He is constant and unchanging.  His love never fails.  His mercy never ends.  Forgiveness is hers if she can accept it. When she is ready to come home, He will be there.... with arms outstretched.

...And so will we.  We won't enable.  But we can forgive.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Week 1 Recap - Active Living Challenge

My fitness, like my blogging, has been sorely neglected lately.

In true perfect timing form, Fit Approach and Lorna Jane started an Active Living Challenge!  August is seriously our craziest month of the year, with 4-H obligations at the county fair, a birthday, football practices beginning, and the prep for back to school and church activities starting up in September.  Not to mention gardening and harvesting and canning.  But I am gonna keep on keeping on and this challenge has been a great way for me to think about fitness and healthy food every day!

Day one got me planking again.

Day two was a great dinner - all home grown and harvested.  I followed the instructions in one of the Costco cookbooks for pan frying the steelhead.  The green beasn were sauteed in garlic and olive oil.  I splashed in fish sauce and soy sauce somewhere during the saute process.  They were amazing.

Day three we went on a family run.  I love family runs.  I love seeing my kids excited about running and pushing themselves.  Connor was frustrated because it was his first time running post broken heel, and he learned a hard lesson about fitness and what happens to your body when you've taken a break.  Jason and I were reliving that experience as well!

Day four I made eight batches of pizza crust... prepping for fair meals and quick dinners after football practice.  Food prep in my kitchen isn't always quiet, but it is definitely calming.  Being prepared for dinners and lunches reduces my stress level exponentially.  My KitchenAid just makes the work easier!

Day five and six and seven I have spent gardening and cleaning out the duck pen and the chicken coop.  I worked up more of a sweat moving wheelbarrows of duck manure than I did in all my running this week!  We've had record "hot" weather here. It's in the 80's and 90's, and we are all dying.  I know... we are wimps.  But, my post workout sweaty selfie was post wheelbarrow workout!

This week is our county fair.  Life is going to get insanely crazy with barn duty and kids' fit and shows and auctions and activities, but I'm staying in the challenge!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

When You Can't Even Remember the Last Time You Blogged...

The only reason I know the last time I blogged was because my posts are dated.  If I was an awesome blogger with a ton of followers, everyone would have thought I had met a tragic end and been worried.
Thankfully, it appears no one is worried, and my sudden split from social media didn't seem to impact anyone at all.  Looking back, I know I have this pattern.  Every year it seems I take an unplanned vacation from all things bloggy.  This year, that break happened to include Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and whatever other media I have as well.

My break has been a good one, and I don't think I'm fully back yet.  I just needed to remember what it felt like to sit up late at night in front of a glowing computer screen, hearing nothing but the tick tick of the keys and the humming of the fish tank pump.

I'm on a ledge.

Life with my kids and husband has been number one.  Work sucks a lot, and it takes all my energy to get through that and still be on the ball at home making the best life I can for my family.  My cyber world has had to take a back seat, along with my fitness (I'm thinking the two have become interdependent).  There isn't a single thing in the last six-ish months that I would take back.  I've done my best to choose Jason and the kids first.  This summer, we have jumped at every opportunity to make memories and get outdoors and in the dirt and the water and the sunshine.  But I am starting to miss the way blogging motivates me.  I'm missing the cyber camaraderie that gets me out the door so I can post a workout and give kudos to others doing the same.  I'm sitting on the ledge because I have got to figure out how to keep what I have and fit in what I miss.

Who else struggles with finding a balance?

My kids could care less if I finish a blog post on any given day or not.  They love to run with me, but they won't read my Flipbelt, Vivobarefoot, -fill-in-the-blank- review.  And, I am...sadly... not so awesome these days at juggling a million things.  When I stay up late to get a post finished, I am snappy with my kids and too tired to do good things the next day.

Am I... *gasp*...getting old?  Is this what happens?

Whatever is wrong, I am working on sorting it out.  I'm scooching my butt closer to the edge.  The leap will happen soon enough.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Move Nourish Believe Challenge: Week Three Recap

Week Three: Believe

2/17: Spoil Yourself! - Do something just for you 

today! Take a walk, go to yoga, spoil yourself!

I loved that Monday was President's Day, and we didn't have to work.  I spoiled myself by sleeping in.  My hubby had to work (poor him), and the kids wanted to stay with Grandma.  I hardly knew what to do with myself the night before... but boy did I enjoy those extra hours of sleep! Aside from taking solo shopping days or getting long run hours all to myself, sleep is my favorite activity.

2/18: 5 Mindful Minutes - Do good to your body, 

meditate for 5 minutes and find your zen.

Without a doubt, I know I need more mindful minutes.  And I know that my mindful minutes should be spent reading my Bible or praying.  Yet, so many times I spend doing busy work around the house or zoning out on the computer or watching some mindless episode on Netflix.  Not good uses of my time.  This was a good reminder day for me.  I spent time reading in Psalms and then spent time studying up for my girl's group on Wednesday night.  

2/19: Be Happy - Show us your happy place!

My happy place is home with my kids.  I spent a long time looking through my phone for pictures of a favorite run or of all of us at the beach or on a trail or out visiting someone, and every time I ended up on a picture of the kids at the house, I immediately felt this little rush of joy and longing.  Hands down... I'm happiest at home with my kids.  Ironic that I am a working mom who travels and spends more time away from home than the normal human... but, maybe that's why I appreciate it more.  This was a good reflective lesson.  I know I won't be a stay at home mom, but I know that I am making every effort to make the most of the time I have at home with my kids.  And, I hope they remember those good times the same way that I do.

2/20: Thankful Thursday - Let us know what you 

are thankful for!

Seeing everyone's thankful posts and thinking about what I was the most thankful for inspired me to start a Thankful blog post... but life got in the way, and I haven't finished it yet.  Thursday night, my husband and I went through the kids' memory boxes looking for handprints.  He is getting a tattoo done with all the kids' handprints, and he needed some for the artist to reference.  I spent the whole day listing thankfuls off in my head, but as soon as I saw my boys' kindergarten handprints and photos from their first year at school, I had to post how thankful I was for those memories. 

2/21: Share the love - S/O to your #1 


This last few weeks, I have spent time every day doing some kind of workout, taking random pictures, making sure I had posts done each night.  Never once did my husband complain. Jason is no doubt my #1 supporter. He encourages me in my running goals.  He runs races with me. He helps make sure I follow my training plans. He participates in random health kicks and diets.  He spent all last week bragging about how his wife completed a Level One Gladiator workout (which made me feel pretty awesome).  

Overall, I really liked this week.  I'm the first to look at diet and exercise when trying to get healthier, even though I should know that my heart and mind need to be in the right place to truly be healthy.  I'm thankful that this challenge helped me to remember this.  I'm sad that the challenge is over, but I am excited to have completed each day and remained strong.  In the past I have started challenges and faded away towards the end or not completed at all.  It's a good feeling to have finished each day and given each day a good, solid effort.  I'm excited to keep moving forward and to keep finding new ways to challenge myself each day.  

Monday, February 17, 2014

Solo Monday Morning

Today is a day I was able to sleep in until 9:30!  That, folks, is a miracle.

And it only happened because the kids are with grandma and Jason had to leave for work at the horrific hour of 5 a.m.

This morning, I cleaned my bathroom counter (a rare occurrence).  I made delicious stove top coffee. I hung out with my ducks and chickens and goats for a bit.  I washed the mud and gunk off our running shoes from yesterday's trail run.  I started a few loaves of bread, made quinoa for quinoa cakes, did some laundry, put away some stuff, and found some new Facebook pages to like.  The SITS Girls have a great group, and I am happy to be a part of their network.

Now I'm getting ready to steal my kids back because I miss them.

Today I want to bake and go on an adventure and clean out the duck pen.  All exciting things.

We'll put up a picture later.