Thursday, August 30, 2012

This Old House

This morning, as I was making my bed, I realized how much I would miss my little house.  No, I'm not moving anytime soon, but we have some goals over the next couple of years with moving being one of them.  And you know how it is.  The (cheap) carpet is definitely showing its true colors and the ancient wiring in the bathroom keeps the light from staying on consistently and everything else like it.  All screaming at me, "Your new house won't be like this!"

So, moving has been on my mind, but for some reason I thought of actually walking out the front door and never coming back to call it home.  I'd already done that once in my life and it was traumatic.  Sure, its just a house and I know some people live in 15 different places throughout their lifetime.  But, not me and my entire marriage was housed here.  My beautiful son was born in the living room! And on it goes, all the sentimental things that I'll miss.

I turn to Randy, who is in the bathroom putting in his contacts, and officially inform him that although I most definitely want to move (and ASAP!), know that I will deeply mourn this house.  As you would expect he chuckled and said ok, with that 'you're crazy but I'm getting used to it' kind of look.  When I was much younger and my family moved out of my childhood home, I was so excited that I didn't look back.  Full speed ahead!!  And I crashed and burned (emotionally) really hard.

My point is this: Change - even when its the healthiest, most beneficial, most RIGHT change - is hard and requires a little bit of mourning.  A new car, a new school, new friends, new routines even! Sometimes we ignore our need for mourning because a change is normal, necessary or something that happens really fast.  But acknowledging somehow what the old represents or meant to our life is healing and nourishing somehow.  As babies turn into men and structures decay, life will not be the same.  And while that's okay, to maintain our balance we have to honor all that those babies and once new entities were and meant before we can embrace the bright future.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Happy 28th Birthday, Mr. Butler

My young (22 year old) groom turns 28 today.  I'm so thankful for the man that he is, but even more the man he is striving to be.  He continues to teach me so much and demonstrates such a fierce love, especially when it comes to Jude.  I love that! Here are a few of my favorite moments with Mr. Butler over the past few years.

His great aunt Ouida

Garden of the Gods, Colorado

Great Sand Dunes

Austin, TX

Austin, TX


Monday, August 27, 2012

Life, Interrupted

New moms and old moms alike, please remember this.  Who you are, how you behave, where you spend your time matters to your children.  They may not say it or admit it, but they see it and absorb it.  No matter how small or how far away, the life you are living is changing theirs.

Tonight I was trying to catch up on some housework and just as I was almost finished vacuuming, Jude starts hovering and whining.  It was inconvenient and annoying that he was fine 2 minutes ago.  Long story short, he was having a painful diaper issue that turned into a bath that resulted in a walk to see the horses before I could finish my work.  Bothersome? Yes.  Fulfilling when it was all said and done? Yes.  And this is why:  I had a perfect opportunity to care for and nurture my son, to model empathy and compassion, and to strengthen that bond we have that says with God's help I can show you the way to go.  I may not have done the best job at that, but by the end it was so clear to me that allowing myself to be interrupted filled his needs, but also grew my patience and my living on purpose muscles just a little more.

Whether you're a parent or not, we rush around shoving people and opportunities aside too much.  Now, don't get me wrong, I'm all about schedules and planning and sticking to a deadline.  My little planner is saving my life as we speak! But the awesome thing I'm finding out about planning in my life is that when I plan and stick to that plan (as much as it depends on me), then I find I have so much more time! I have time to be interrupted or for the evening events to be reordered.  There's never going to be enough time in the day for everything.  Just accept that universal truth and move on.  Instead, make sure you're allowing time for the things you love the most.

Monday, August 20, 2012

The First Day of a New Season

I have a sweet cousin who is starting college today who moved away from home for the first time over the weekend.  Her family is very excited for her, but emotional to see her go.  As all parents are, I suppose.  Facebook has been a buzz with everyone's new stages.  Starting Kindergarten all the way to a last year in college, parents are shedding tears over time gone by so quickly.  And I'm not sure what is so special about this year that I'm suddenly starting to pay attention.  Kids graduate and move away every year, but for some reason this year I'm very aware of the emotion that is involved with seeing your child take another step into real adulthood.  

My baby isn't even 2, but I'm already thinking about what I want to be like verses what I'll likely be like when he moves away to college.  Talk about a complete lack of control! :) And mourning? Yeah, I bet there will be mourning.  I think I'm mourning right now in preparation!  But once all of that is flushed out, more or less, I want to be able to say some things about my time with him.  I want to know that the past 18 years were spent preparing him and supporting him to be a great young man, capable and willing to bring good things to those around him, with integrity, respect and virtue.  Because if that's not my goal, then what am I doing?  As much as it feels like it on a bad day, I am not having and raising children to give me hugs and to be my best friend.  With God's grace and blessings, I'm attempting to raise men and women who will soon become husbands and wives, parents, employees, owners, leaders, coaches, the list goes on.  

I am such an intensely emotional person that it is easy for me to get caught up in all the feelings.  Parenting seems to be no different.  Writing this out has helped me frame another goal for my role as a mother.  Whatever opportunities or time you have with someone, in a certain place, what kind of things do you want to be able to say about it when it's over? Try writing down what you'd like that time period to look like.  Even though we likely won't reach it exactly, it gives us better direction.

So, be it Kindergarten, football season, or retirement, how can you really live in it and make the most of your time in this season?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

3 Tips for Starting Back to School

August.  For many, this month symbolizes the end of summer and the beginning of another school year.  Yep, life is about to get busy.  Deadlines, projects, extra practice, schedules.  Go, go, go.  Do, do, do.   As I mentioned last time, Mr. Butler is going back to school too.  So, as we all take a collective big breath and steady ourself for the coming onslaught, let's try not to forget a couple of things.

1) I Love You.  Don't forget to let everybody know how you feel about them regularly! We get busy, we get stressed.  And some days all we really need is a reminder that we are loved and special to someone.

2) Balance.  If you're a workaholic, take time to play.  If you're always procrastinating, work FIRST.  As best you can, make a little time for everything.  Work, Play, Rest, Love, Repeat!

3) Mercy.  You just can't imagine what some people are bearing in their lives.  Try to look at the world around you with mercy first.

A little work, a little play, always makes a good day!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Adventures in Frisbee Golf

I've never played sports to speak of.  Because, well, I am clumsy.  I drop things.  I lose things.  I break things.  It's not clear whether or not the lack of sport playing as a child caused this, but it's certainly why I haven't pursued sports.  That and I don't like looking stupid.  Either way, I'm embarking on an adventure like none I've ever experienced before.  I'm learning a new sport willingly and have intentions of continuing it long term.  Perhaps this is of little value to you, but in looking at my track record (of quitting long before I've even started) I'm already impressed with myself!

Here's the deal: my husband - who is a very brainy, task-oriented, planner for our family's future - is returning to college this week to begin an MBA (Master's in Business & Administration) program.  I'm extremely grateful for his willingness to work and the sacrifices he's willing to make to ensure us an increasingly secure future!  Really, I am.  On the other hand it's been rather terrifying to give up 2 nights a week with him, plus time for homework, projects and group meetings.  Like panic attack terrifying.  But I'm dealing with it. :)

So, Frisbee Golf (Disc Golf in the professional world) has been a favorite untried sport of Mr. Butler for a while now and, in response to my fear of lost 'family time', we decided to make it a regular family activity.  

Why Frisbee Golf?  
-Courses Abound! There are courses all over the metro in our beautiful parks!
-Free! To play a round, even 18 holes, is absolutely free! You bring your own discs, so that has to be purchased, but a good set looks to be about $30.  A far cry from the hundreds of dollars spent on golf clubs, accessories and green fees!
-Exercise! Just walking the entire course is good exercise and often you'll find courses with some challenging terrain that increases your workout!
-Easy! Throwing a frisbee isn't terribly hard.  Perfecting the sport is no walk in the park (ha!) but anyone can play this and enjoy themselves (even if they stink!)
-Quality Time! Much like golf, it provides a great opportunity to talk and spend time with those you're playing with in a relaxed, natural environment.

 The first two times we went were definitely learning experiences but such a good things for all of us! I'll keep you posted on how things go.  Anybody want to join us sometime? We'd like to use this to enhance our own family, but use it to spend time with others too!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Whatever Happened to 'Agree to Disagree'?

With all the talk of free speech, boycotts and even healthcare issues (vaccinations, obamacare, etc.) abounding, I've been a little overwhelmed and tired of the conflict.  No matter my opinions and values, I know there are those who disagree completely.  But I don't feel the need to accept or pick a fight with anyone.

As a Christian, I do believe in sharing my faith and supporting the things I believe in.  Absolutely.  As an American, I respect the right of free speech.  And that means EVERYONE'S right to free speech.  Some people's 'speech' will be ugly, condescending and full of hate.  Why are you surprised at that?  I'm not.  Disappointed and saddened sometimes, but not surprised.  Is it my job to change the world's mind? Probably not.  Is it even my job to make sure my neighbor agrees with me (or gets a talking to if not)?  Probably not.  I believe its my job to live in the way I believe is right, with love, kindness and truth, honoring my husband, teaching my son.  Energy fully spent on that will go much further in the world than spitting out arguments to those that just want someone to fight with.

I guess I just wonder why agreeing to disagree isn't implemented more.  Our lives should demonstrate our beliefs and values.  Arguing about them, especially in wildly public venues is probably going to embitter your opposers more.  It is a beautiful day, no matter where you are so choose to bring good to your corner of the world.  Support the things you believe in.  Pray and  have mercy on those who you disagree with.  And at the end of the day, sow peace.

A gentle answer turns away wrath.  -Proverbs 15:1