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Saturday, September 8, 2018

Weekend re-cap: vol 2

Welcome to weekend re-cap vol 2. Where I attempt to leave little bread-crumbs of encouraging thoughts and book recommendations...

This week began with a long weekendand celebrating Grayson’s 3rd birthday. I went into labor with him, ironically enough, on Labor Day and it felt so fun to celebrate his birthday on Labor Day, (even if his actual birth-date isn’t till later in the week). We were given tickets to a small water park called “Splash in the Boro” in Statesboro, GA and it was a magnificent day. The park was just small enough that I felt confident that no one was going to get lost, and Daniel and I were tag teaming like pros. Everyone was happy. I went on exactly one ride and screamed involuntarily the entire time. I’m glad I tried, but I loved sitting with Grayson at the splash pad in his six inches of water and being an anchor to my family.

When we were discussing going to the water park I mentioned to Daniel that it might not be a good idea because we were heading into the weekend pretty worn out and I worried that it might be too much to have a big fun day in the sun. While I’m super glad we went, I feel like I was right about the exhaustion levels at the house.

This week I have had moments of feeling super frustrated with myself because of how exhausted I have been. Like I just want to roll my eyes at myself and be all like “really? Really. You need an entire week to recover? What is wrong with you?” I wrote a whole book (albeit a short one) on shame. Yet I still find myself shaming myself. But the answer comes like a gentle, fierce mother “nothing is wrong with you or your need for extra rest. This is how you are and how you are is fine.” 

What I’ve been thinking... 

Changing my posture towards the ordinary moments of my day. 

Last week I found myself practically in tears over the agony of car-line and I began to pray that God would give me grace, wisdom, revelation and strategy for this season of my life to know how to transform those moments into something life-giving rather that life-draining.

Yesterday as I began looking around the corner of my day I found myself looking forward to getting into car line. Grayson has been napping, Eli has been reading quietly. I read a book or catch up on emails or even just scroll through Instagram. It’s quiet, it’s calm and it is becoming one of my favorite moments in the day. I haven’t changed a lot or practiced this “change of posture” perfectly. But the little change has made a big difference.

I’ve been trying to put into practice a habit of writing down what I do to take care of myself. It might be eating an apple or sitting outside in the morning. Simply writing it down is helping me see the little golden pockets of goodness in the middle of the mess and making a list about what is going well in my life is a much better list than everything that has gone wrong today.
What I’m reading:
The Ministry of Ordinary Places - I have been reading this in all of the little pockets of time and this book feels like something that is doing something deep and beautiful down deep in who I am. It's been so good so far. I'll write a full review when it comes out. You can give a gift to your future-self and pre-order it on Amazon.

Speaking of pre-orders there is a new book coming out from Annie Downs called Remember God and I can not wait to read it.

I just got a big stack of Library holds from the library so prepare yourself - next week my reading section is either going to be epic, or empty because I will not have been able to make a decision on what to read first.

What I’m watching: 

Won’t You Be My Neighbor - watched this documentary with Daniel and it brought back all kinds of childhood memories. I grew up watching Mr Rogers Neighborhood every day and I literally cried when the movie was over. It brought up all of the good memories from the best part of my young life. It made me re-think what I’m allowing to influence my children, especially what they watch, and it reaffirmed the difference that just one person can make.

The Great British Baking Show - I've been watching this on Netflix after we get home from car-pool and before I head into dinner-prep mode (or at night before bed) and it is just my speed. It touches on my inner anglophile and is a kind, quiet, human-drama driven show. Plus, baking. Yesteday I got bought some bread flour and dry yeast and could barely even make decent dinner rolls... I did initially really miss the original hosts, however now that I’m nearing the end of the show I love the quirky personalities of the new hosts and, of course, am 100% personally invested in the outcome of this next bake.

What I’m listening to: 

Lauren Daigle - I’ve been listening to her single “You Say” for weeks and finally got to listen to her new album. It reminds me a lot of Adele in all the best ways.
Sleeping at Last  album "The Spring". It's been on repeat all week long.

Favorite Instas: 

The comments on this post were just wonderful

Dear People going through things which you cannot share, 〰️ You are NOT alone. 〰️ Don’t be deceived by the shiny posts you are scrolling past. A put together picture does not mean a perfect life. So many are struggling under a crushing weight—even those with shiny looking lives. It’s tricky territory because these days, in these spaces, we share so much. We are authentic + vulnerable (buzz words, after all). However, there is a good chance that there are portions of our story in which we cannot share. Because . . . our stories are never our own. Some of you are struggling with someone else’s story because it affects you greatly, because you love deeply (yet it is not your’s to tell). 〰️ When we go through immense stress or crisis or circumstances that we cannot share it can feel very isolating. Like the whole world is still spinning and carrying on as usual, but for you it has titled, off axis, and you wonder if anyone even notices. 〰️ If this doesn’t make sense, then it won’t. But for some of you it will make great sense and I just want to tell you today that you are not alone. I notice. I may not personally know you or know your story, but I recognize that your world has shifted. I empathize with your pain and the hard work you are putting in to process the pain and become a stronger person. 〰️ You are meant to become stronger. Not shinier. 〰️ There is nothing wrong with shiny. I love shiny. I post a good amount of shiny photos. Beauty, in many forms, has helped to heal my broken-heart. Beauty, after-all, is what God offered us at the beginning. 〰️ But shiny is not the goal or the marker that tells us we are doing well or that life is normal, as it should be. The older I get the more I realize that life is not normal. My goal is no longer to appear normal or shiny but rather to have a healthy heart and become stronger than I was the day before. Strong people aren’t concerned about appearing shiny. The are concerned about being a light to the broken—noticing them, calling out their breaks, so they can, then, call out their breakthroughs. 〰️ Broken one, who may not be able to share what has broken you. I see your break. I also see your breakthrough!
A post shared by Trina McNeilly / La La Lovely (@trina_mcneilly) on

To all my worn out mama-friends. It is okay to not be okay today. It is okay to be utterly exhausted. It is okay to say “I’d love to, just maybe next week.” It’s okay to say no. It’s okay to need help. It’s okay to order pizza for dinner, or whatever brings some comfort and ease to tonight. It’s okay to put on a movie and snuggle. It’s okay to need to get out of the house for a bit. It’s okay to not be firing on all cylinders right now. It’s okay to not be all guns-blazing. It’s okay to just sit here for a bit. It’s okay that you’re wondering how you are going to get it all done. It’s okay if some things get left undone. It’s okay to just need to cry for a minute. It’s okay to not have words for all the feelings of today. It’s okay to be overwhelmed and exhausted by the good good things in your life. It’s okay to need to pause in the middle of it all, just to catch your breath.
A post shared by faith ann raider (@faithraider) on

This is me at 18 years old, not long after my oldest was born. This morning I had some thoughts about what I wish I could say to that young mama and I finally found a moment to write them down. They’re not all profound, I just figured that since I can’t go back in time to tell my younger self I could still share in case anyone younger is listening... 1. You know more than you give yourself credit for. You know how to listen to yourself. You know how to listen to your baby. You love your husband with an ocean of love, deep and wide. I know you feel like you don’t know anything, I know that your heart longs to hear the words “you’re doing a good job” but instead the words around you are “too much” and “not enough”. Let me tell you something - you are going to mess some stuff up, you are going to change your mind and change directions more than once. You are a very imperfect person, but you are a really good mom. You know more than you give yourself credit for and you need to have confidence that you are a really good mom, doing the best you can, which is all any of us can do. 2. You know less than you realize. Why do you feel like you “ought” to have arrived? Or that you “ought” to know everything you need to know? In your twenties you are an expert at nothing, student of everything. Be a good student of motherhood, life, love. Embrace this season of learning. Ask questions. Gather mentors. Look for ways to help the older women, stop being so ashamed to ask for help. You need it. It can be hard, the women around you seem so busy. Don’t give up. Keep asking, keep seeking, keep inviting. 3. You are beautiful. 4. Eat the ice cream.
A post shared by faith ann raider (@faithraider) on

One Thing I’d Like to Know: 

Last week I asked - to Pumpkin Spice or not to pumpkin spice and I loved reading your answers! Here is my answer: I LOVE pumpkin spice. I am just not a fan of the Pumpkin Spice Latte. (If I want a treat (or have a reward) I'll order an iced caramel macchiato or a hot salted caramel mocha.) Give me all of the candles, muffin breads and what have you. I make pumpkin spice muffins often when the weather is cool enough (so, like in January). Once the Pumpkin Spice Kim's Cupcakes go on sale my Thanksgiving has been made.

This week's One Thing I'd Like To Know: do you listen to other people's playlists? If you do where would you want it to be? I have got a public playlist on iTunes (for my book) which you can add to your playlist library. I'm thinking I could make one on Spotify as well but I’d love to know if that is something you’re really into... or not.

Also... this week Grayson - who has up to this point only been marginally interested in potty training, (and trust me, the feeling is mutual, what with all of his bladder surgeries - I figured it would be horrendous) has decided to potty train himself. I have heard of this happening but it has never, ever, not once in my history of potty training his five older siblings, has this happened to me. He has been stripping himself down every day so I've put him in some underwear and randomly try to remember to ask him if he needs to pee. It isn't going great, but it's also not been too horrible either. If you have any tips - I'd welcome them - there's always more to learn!

These posts will usually include Amazon links - sometimes they'll be affiliate links, sometimes not.  This post contains affiliate links. If you happen to buy something I've linked to I get a small commission for the sale and you don't pay any extra. 

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