Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Why is October 15th Significant?

I know what you are may be thinking.  October is a month filled with so many awareness focuses, national (fill in the blank) day, and more.  All have their importance and significance.

But some things need more voice to them and behind them.  October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month.  It is something that more people face than you may realize.  1 in 4 will face a pregnancy loss.

I am 1 in 4.  I, we, went through a miscarriage at the start of 2011.  At 17 weeks our daughter no longer had a heart beat.  We had found out just before Christmas that we were pregnant, pregnant with our first baby.  We celebrated the holiday season with a little extra focus on the new little one that we were going to welcome into our world in July.  July 5.

Shortly after Christmas we began seeing a little bit of concern during our ultrasound.  Because of the technology at the time and the tilt of my pelvis it would take a little longer to find the heart beat.  We had an ultrasound done and measurements seemed a little off.  So, to utilize better technology and do some testing we were sent to the perinatal.  The perinatal had us wait a couple more weeks, to gain a little more growth in our little one before we could do any of the testing.

In that two weeks, she stopped growing, stopped moving and on January 26 she had no heart beat left.

The day I found out I was pregnant, I became a mom.  The day I found out I was pregnant, my hubby became a dad.  I celebrated my 29th birthday the day before we celebrated the life of our daughter and her funeral.

Being a mom didn't start out how I had imagined, nor had I planned.  I was put on a path that no one anticipates, but happens to many.  And if it doesn't happen to us, we find out that it has to someone close to us.  Sometimes it happens in the coming years, and sometimes it brings up what happened years and years ago.

As that 2011 year went forward, I dove back into things not fully allowing myself to grieve or begin to heal.  In the Fall of that year it all came crashing down.  I couldn't anymore.  So I gave up my classroom so I could finally grieve, to take of me, my marriage, and what friendships I had left.  And to begin to heal.  You see, facing a miscarriage showed me the true colors of those around me.  Some walked the path with me, even if they hadn't faced it themselves.  Some walked the path with me that had faced it before.  And some, well some shut me out, said things that left things broken.

I am still in a healing phase with this.  There are still some areas that I am still working on and through.  Yet, there are some areas that are healed and others where I have a better understanding.

I didn't only loose my daughter, I lost the dreams and hopes that were with her, I lost the things that a mom would get to experience, I lost friends and co-workers, I lost trust for awhile, I lost faith for awhile, I lost joy, I lost a part of me.

My daughter made me who I am today.  She made me a mom.  She gave me new perspectives.  She gave me hope.  She gave me trust.  She gave me faith.  She gave me joy.  She showed me how strong I really am.  She showed me how to forgive.  She showed me how to let go.  She showed me love through signs.

There is no foot too small, no person too small, to leave an imprint on this world.

So why is October 15th significant?

It is the day that Ronald Reagan signed into recognition Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness day in 1988.  On this day for many years, a wave of light is spread throughout the Earth.  From one side to the other, at pm people light candles in remembrance of all those little ones gone far too soon.  This wave spreads from ocean to ocean, over every continent.

October is the month my daughter began life.  October 15th I light a candle for her, for family, for friends who have all lost their babies. 

Monday, October 7, 2019

Discovering My Vision ~ Putting it into Words

The other day I was asked what my vision is.  I was told that having a clearer vision will be a guide.

Guess what I found?  I don't have one.  Not only that,  I can't even put anything into words to create one.

I realized recently I am in a huge season of change.  So what does this mean?  It means I need to dig in deeper, open my heart, and see where it leads.

When faced with change we can do one of two things.  We can sit, dig our heels in, refusing to move.  Or, we can flow with the change and grow.

Sometimes we need a tangible set of words that can help guide us.  Not only through changes, but through life's day to day.

Your to dos, activities, hobbies, jobs, roles, and so on all have something to hinge from.  So why not put that something into words and turn it into a clear vision?

Sounds simple.  Just put some words down on paper that can help me make decisions easier right?

That is what I thought.  What is your vision?  Health and wellness.  That is great!  But can you go deeper?  Can you add detail?  Can explain?  Can you break it down into something more specific?

That is a great start, but in defining and being specific you can really start forming a plan, setting up things, and moving forward.

When I really think about it, health and wellness is more a value and more of a priority.  It is too broad to be, as it stands, a clear vision.  Yes, our values and our priorities will help guide us and our decisions.  But sometimes we need to be more specific and dig a little deeper.  Use those things to  help to set a vision.

Sure, I set goals, but those goals really play into an overall vision.  And just like with goals, the more specific and detailed you, the more likely you will have success completing the goal.  With regular check ins and maintenance, tweaking as needed, you can really achieve some amazing things.

But it all starts with a vision.  A clear vision.

Like I said, I didn't have one anymore and as much as I like to write I had a very hard time putting it into words.  I couldn't even talk it through and get anywhere when I had a coaching call about creating a vision.  I may have a way with words when I write, but sometimes there is a disconnect between brain and  mouth when it comes to talking.

So where did that leave me?  I put it on the back burner honestly.  I kept telling myself I will get to it later or well I don't even know where to begin.  After a handful of days I decided I needed to put my pen to paper and dig in deeper.

I began to think about my ideal life, ideal day.  What would it look like? What would it feel like?

Setting aside any feelings of guilt that arose, I answered the following other questions.

Looking at the different areas of your life listed below and think about what could make them really great.
  • physical health
  • mental/emotional health
  • spiritual health
  • love/intimacy
  • work
  • fun/social
  • relationship with kids
  • money
So I broke it all down and began to write.  Each topic was a section I wrote in detail, may not have been full sentences, but I put down the words.

It was interesting because this process took a few days.  I wrote out my thoughts to all those questions.  And I felt freer, open more.  I had felt like I was in a funk for a bit, doubting myself.  So I did a card pull from my Simple Clarity decks.  I needed something tangible.  

I got that answer, I got something tangible.  It made me realized and fully believe in myself and where I am at, as well as where I am headed...and it was good, truly good, and thriving.  It wasn't until, of all times, the next day about to get in the shower that words started coming to me.  So I wrote them down and they became the start of my vision.

Where it will all lead, I am not sure.  However, I have a clearer path and direction.  Sure, there will be bumps, storms, breakdowns along the way, but I will also have the guidance I need to carry through and pull me out.  

I will share my vision below the next picture.  First I want to encourage you to take some time to create a vision.  Go beyond what you value and priorities, using those as a guide.  But be open to digging in deeper.  Use your goals as a stepping block to create this overall arching theme.  

For me, I leaned heavily into God's guidance through this.  I know that my strength and courage comes from him.  Digging in deeper into my heart begins with opening my heart and letting the Holy Spirit in.  All these extras I do, like card pulls, I still invite God to be my guide, to open my heart, to let the words and thoughts out, release the emotions.  I also lean into those who are close to me to help guide too to help gather wisdom and perspectives.

Where is your vision leading you?

Here is my vision

I am a curly haired, vibrant beautiful woman.
I bring value and worth when I use my gifts and skills I have been given to their fullest ability
I use the changes and growth I have gained to give me wisdom to move forward
I am me...a daughter, a wife, a mom
I am a  writer, photographer, creative soul
I will fill my mind, body, and soul with good: in what I say and do (inside and out), in what I eat, in what I think
If it doesn't fit, I will let it go
I will let myself heal where needed. I will let myself be free, I will release the extras facades and weight
I will be a seed spread and find joy in the day
I will nourish myself so that I can be my best for those around me and nourish them too.

Friday, October 4, 2019

What A Day of Homeschool Looks Like For Us

A few years ago we made the decision to go the home school route.  For us, after looking over our options, talking, and discerning we felt that it was the right option.  

We are headed in to our second year where we have a set curriculum and a schedule.  Last year we had a more flex schedule, similar to this year but with a lot more fluidity to it and the curriculum.  However, this year we have set certain things to be done on certain days. 

Monday the focus is on reading and spelling, Tuesday is math, and Thursday is Bible Study Fellowship (with work that has to be done before the next class meets), Friday is for other classes like zoo and art .  This year we also have included days for chores, errands, adventures, low key, library, swim lessons/family swims, and seasonal activities. Most of curriculum work gets done in the morning.  Then it opens the day for whatever else we want or need to do.  

Yes, we cover things like writing, science, history, and geography as well as art.  Those are scattered throughout the month.  We try to use hands on, real world experiences for science, history, and geography.

My oldest loves to be creative, so at least once a week he is creating something.  Sometimes it is reinventing his Lego sets or creating out of Legos based on his latest interest.  Like right now is Mars and the Mars Rover so we have some Lego rovers he has built and artwork he has drawn.  Other times it is picking up art tools to draw, paint, design, create what is in his mind.

We use books, so many books to cover a lot of the areas.  Right now book reading happens whenever the kids ask, and typically before nap and bedtime.  Play is also a key component of our day.  Whether outside, inside, on an adventure play is a theme running throughout our day.

So what does a day look like for us?

It is filled with using the resources we have to help teach math and reading using Math Seeds and Reading Eggs, play, adventure, creativeness, books and more to help our kids learn what they need to learn but doing so in a way that they thrive and using their interests to span multiple subjects.

There are a handful of questions I get when people find out we home school.  We get asked why we chose to home school, do you have a be a teacher, is it hard, what curriculum do you use, do you follow a specific method, are you in any groups or co-ops.

More often that not when people find out that we do home school, they are excited.  Sometimes they want to know more, other times they share stories about that they home schooled or were home schooled, and some wish that they could (and then ask  more questions to get an idea of what it is like).

The nice thing is you can make it your own.  Tailor it your kiddos.  You get to invest into your kid's future.  Setting them up now with a solid foundation to be a great adult down the road and have the skills needed to thrive and succeed.

So, do you home school?  Or something similar?

What questions do you have for me?

Monday, September 30, 2019

Waiting is Hard ~ But God Still Works in the Waiting

Waiting is hard sometimes.  For kids, for adults, it is just hard at times.  If we aren't patient it is hard to teach a kid patience. 

In a society where almost everything is becoming instant and at our fingertips, we forget how to wait.  A couple weeks ago I cam across some interesting facts about waiting, or rather lack there of.  It takes seconds waiting at a red light before drivers grow impatient.  Can you imagine what it is like in traffic?  Waiting in line at a store?  Even in a time when we can get things delivered to us the day we order it or within a couple days as soon as it is delayed we grow impatient.

What if we looked at it in a different way?  Why not use the time waiting for something else?

We can still grow while we wait.  Sometimes we grow the most in the waiting.  The waiting can be a few hours, or days, months, or even years.  During that time it can be a real struggle.  Wondering, yearning, wanting answers, growing frustrated or irritated or maybe angry. 

For me, in the long stretches of waiting I tend to grow doubtful.  Asking tons of questions, wondering when or what if, all too often letting the negative inner critic have more say.  The fears, the worry, sometimes guilt get the better of me.

More recently, I have been working on my perspective and attitude during the long waits.  Letting go, not letting the doubt or the inner critic overwhelm me.  Sure, I do take a moment to listen to that inner voice, but when it starts down the negative side, doubting, frustrating,,,whatever the feeling I acknowledge it, accept it for what it is, and work through it.  No, it isn't always going to be easy and it ain't always going to look pretty. 

At the same time, I am teaching and guiding little ones in this too.  So what can I do I best or better to help them process and wait as they watch me in my waiting.

So what do we do while in the waiting?

For me, I reground myself often.  I pray and let it all out.  I do card pulls to have something tangible, because sometimes I need to have something a little more concrete.  I talk it out and work it out in workouts

We grow all the time.  But we grow the most in the waiting, through the storms, through the things that push us the most outside our comfort zone.

I have learned that God is still working in the waiting.  It may not feel like it, but there is work happening.  And that work can carry you through to the outcome and answers.

We are faced with waiting all the time.  But how do you face waiting?

I am still learning to let myself grow and to change my perspective, and yet still be authentic and real.  It is a work in progress, but then again so am I.  Transformations don't always take a short time, sometimes they take longer...longer than anticipated. 

Are you in a period of waiting? Or have you just come out of one?

What do you do in the waiting?

Saturday, September 28, 2019

New Season, Changes, Celebrating Harvest

The start of this week was the start of a new season.  Fall has arrived and I am loving it!  The other day in my BSF group we were asked what our favorite season is.  I am a true Upper Midwest kind of girl and need the four seasons.  Yeah, sure Winter lasts like six months and the rest sometimes get crammed into the other six.  But I enjoy having four distinctive seasons, different activities that come with each season, and seeing each season through my kids' eyes as they grow.

Which season is my favorite?  Fall tops it.  With the vibrant leaf colors, sun shining warm with cool breezes, windows open, the crunch of leaves as you walk through them, watching leaves twirl as they fall to the ground, pumpkins and apples, hot beverages in a warm mug with my hands wrapped around  it.  I just love Fall.

But I also love Spring. Spring is about things greening out, flowers starting, warm breezes with windows open, feeling the warm sun after a long Winter.  It is about new growth and planting.  Fall is about reaping what you have sewn, abundance, change and letting go, preparing.

Fall is the time of year where abundance, blessings, thankfulness are all around us.  As Summer turns into Fall reaping the harvest that has sewn and worked on so hard.  It is a time for celebrating that bounty.

But what if you don't have a bounty, or it isn't much of anything, or if it doesn't look like what you thought, or you had so many storms and so much destruction that you can't see the abundance?

It doesn't have to be a large thing sewn or a huge bounty, or even grand to be abundant.  We can find even a small amount of joy in any of it .  We may have to finish riding out the storms, sift through the destruction, or wait a little longer, but in time it will come.  There is still growth in the waiting.  Even though small seeds were sewn, a small yield was gathered, it can make a huge impact down the road, over time.

Maybe you planted all at once or every so often.  Maybe you are a seed sender, spreading these seeds little by little, day by day.  Maybe both, depending on the year, the seasons, or circumstances.

What seeds are you planting?
What have you planted and are waiting on?
What has bloomed?
What hasn't worked?

Through it all, we can still find joy, a small piece of joy to carry us through to the next.

I want you to take a moment and think on something.

What has brought you joy today? This week?  This month?  What are you looking forward to in this next season? Next month?

You can plant your own seeds any time of year.  You can celebrate the bounty of them at any point.  And once they are done growing, you can plant more.

This Fall is about change for me.  Changes that start with me and will hopefully spread.  Where this will all lead?  I don't know yet.  But I am willing to take the chance to plant some new seeds, nurture them, and see what will happen.  I am choosing to see the joy, the abundance through the storms, through the changes, through the growth.

It is like I tell my kids often, we are never done learning and we are never done growing.  Change is going to happen, we are going to make mistakes, we are going to fail but through it all we can still grow and we can still reap from what we have sewn.

So, what is your favorite season? Why?

What are you finding joy in in this very moment?

Monday, September 16, 2019

Back to School ~ Year Two of Homeschooling

It is back to school time.  For many, you may have already been going for two or three weeks at this point.  What grades are your kiddos headed into?

My kiddos are 6 1/2 and almost 4, so we are headed into first grade and pre-kindergarten.  We are headed into our second year of homeschooling.

Anyone else out there home school?

We do a mix of work at home and work out and about.  Our adventures are filled with just as much learning as at home.  Now that we have a first grader I am being asked more often what curriculum do we use or what method of homeschooling we do.

You see there are a lot of options out there for curriculum and methods.  It makes it nice to really tailor to where your kiddos are at and their interests.

I have one kiddo who loves to be creative, be outside, read, play, and learn.  He is combining what he is learning in math and reading into his every day.  Other subject areas come out through reading, adventures, and play.  Right now he is really interested in the Mars Rover, so we are adding lots about that topic into our days.

My other kiddo wants to be like brother and have curriculum of his own.  He has a few concrete curriculum activities like Reading Eggs and Mathseeds.  However, he isn't using them weekly like his brother is.  Instead, he does them when he asks.  But we are having a letter of the week focus, as well as a number of the week focus for him.  In the car he has them posted (older brother has sight words posted) so we can play games while we drive or when we wait in the car.  He will also have a worksheet to go with each.  Otherwise, through play and art, books and adventures he is learning.

I get the question every so often, well what about socialization?  Won't they miss that piece?

Socialization doesn't come from going to school.  Sure, they will get it through the earlier years like preschool and prekindergarten.  But once in a school building, school setting it is actually a missing piece.  Remember being a kid and being told you talk to much in class or you aren't here to socialize?  I was, as I have heard it before in classrooms even still today.

Socialization is not about being put into a room with others the same age as you and being taught all day.  It is about knowing how to interact with others of any age throughout the day, having manners, being cooperative, being kind.  It is about being out in the real word with others.

You get socialization through going out to eat, through visiting other people, through classes and camps, through running errands and shopping, through having a meal together as a family, going on adventures and talking with the other people there, through sports, talking to your neighbors, and much more.

This Fall the kids are signed up for swim lessons, art classes, and zoo classes.

Our set curriculum is Reading Eggs on Mondays and Mathseeds on Fridays.  Spelling is either on Monday or Wednesday.  Art, history, geography, health, writing is throughout the month.  We have adventures we go on, call them field trips if you like.  We also have a day for chores to get done.  Some worksheets or workbooks scattered throughout to practice skills.

This year we are adding more faith exploration into our day and week.  We go to a Bible Study Fellowship once a week.  My oldest and I have reading to do and questions to answer.  We are using the weekly verse to carry us through the week.  We are also adding in devotions with our breakfast.

We are using other people's adventures to learn more about certain topics like geography and different cultures.  We have friends visiting Germany and family headed to visit Italy.  For us as well, both those are a part of own lineage as well.

All are excited for a year of fun, adventures, and learning.

I am finding that as more time goes by we are finding more and more people who are going the home school route.  And even though some don't have kids, they have lots of questions about it as it is on their minds and they are thinking that it is the route they want to go.

Whatever you decide, remember you can take learning where ever you go.  Anything can be turned into a learning and growth experience.  It may not always look like learning, but it is in the process that teaches us the most.

No matter your age, keep learning and keep growing.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Making Space: In My Day, My Week, Our Day, Our Week

I have a several roles to fill, and I know that God put me in those for a reason.  Sometimes I do question them, if what I am doing is heading us down the right path, if it is enough, am I using the gifts and talents  I have been given, am I being authentically me through it all.

Have these thoughts, these questions run through your mind before?

As I have been looking at my purpose over the years, I have been realizing recently it is changing.  Just like the seasons, just like age, just like life, our purpose changes.  It grows and changes as we learn, grow, or change.

Change in our journey or direction.  Change in our roles or our age.  Change in our hearts or attitudes.  Sometimes those things are planned, we can see them coming.  Yet other times, they come with the twists and turns on our path, seemingly out of nowhere.  Sometimes we are in control of it, sometimes not.  Sometimes we think we are in control, but we really aren't.  Sometimes we have it figured out, while other times not so much.

Priorities are a big part of this.  What are you priorities?  Where do you place value?  What do you make a priority?

Those things will determine what you fill your day, your week, your month, your year with. 

Even making space for, well space or margin, downtime, and rest can be a priority, can be scheduled, can be put on the calendar.

So what am I going to put on my calendar?

For those, like me, who are does, planners, list makers, and such I have love to keep it going, even when I would be better off taking some downtime.  I am learning this about myself and being more aware and in tune, as well as honest about what I truly need...even if it means to take a nap or to rest.  But it isn't always easy for me to put those as a priority.

So as I dig deeper, make some decisions, set up routines & schedules, and create rituals I am taking a closer look my roles, my priorities, my goals.  Looking at what works and doesn't, what needs to change, and more.  I am also looking at what works in the best interest of each of my roles and where I can use my gifts and talents best.  One thing I know for sure is I love to write, I always have.  So I want to make writing a priority.

I am not looking at this as I can do it all, I want to do it all.  I am looking at this as,  where can I find a better flow that works with the path I am on, the person I am meant to be, my roles that provides a balanced harmony.  And through that flow, through that balanced harmony I can bring my best to each area, letting myself grow where needed, keep learning, finding that natural flow & rhythm that this next season can bring.

What will the next season bring for you?  Where are you placing your priorities?  What will your flow and rhythm look like?  How will you blend your roles?

Monday, September 9, 2019

What are you looking forward to this week? This month?
It's feeling like Fall near us, though tomorrow they are saying 80, but then back into Fall type weather. I have been out of town since last week Wednesday. For us, it feels like we begin our school year this week in September. Getting ready, gearing up and now we put it into action. August cruised by, almost too quickly. I am hoping to settle into a slower pace as September continues, setting some new routines and schedules, finding a flow in my own daily rituals.

This feels like a good time to reassess, recalibrate as needed. What has been working, what hasn't, what needs to change. What do I need to do, change? Where do I need to grow, want to grow? Where do we need to change things up for the kids? What does my marriage need?

I have finished planning out the home school school year. Though we do go year round, we officially start this week adding in more subjects, different activities, and so on. I need to add the info and plan to the lesson plan book. But we have it figured out.

I am taking this week myself to dig in deeper, listen, discover my flow for Fall.

I am looking forward to new adventures, digging in deeper, and discovering or rediscovering. What that looks like and what that means I am not sure yet. I want to take time to see how the past 8 months have tied into my year's word rejuvenation. For September I am focusing in on ease.

What does this look like? Where do I need to find more ease?

Where do you need to find more ease? What does this look like for you?

Monday, August 12, 2019

Finding My Writing Flow & Flow Between Priorities

I have been thinking over the past weeks since my last post that it has been awhile, what do I want to write about.  I have had so many ideas, but I haven't put my fingers to the keys.  I find that writing gets set to the side pretty quickly these days.

I get ideas of what to write about, but then days go by and then I wrestle with, should I still write it or let it go.  I don't always have time to pull out the laptop and write, but what I am realizing is I need to make time for it.  It may not be on the laptop at first, or even in a post, but I can certainly write in a notebook.  Then make time on the calendar to actually put my fingers to the keys.

I am a schedule type person.  So if I want to make writing a priority, I have to schedule it.  I know, it sounds kind of funny, maybe a little odd.  If I like it, why don't I just do it.  Well, I have many roles in the day, so often it turns out that those take more precedence.  Toss in curve balls, unexpected twists, or even leaving space open and writing gets put on the back burner.

And then there is the fact that I go through different phases and seasons as I try to figure out a good flow for writing and spending time with it.  Now, as my kiddos are a little older and little more independent I can see some windows opening allowing me the time if I choose to take it.

It's not that I don't have the time, it is that I don't take the time or give it priority.

That happens often in life.  Things get set aside when we don't give it time or priority.  Now, granted we can't control how or what that will look like always, and stuff comes up.  But overall, we can find a natural flow that creates a balanced harmony.  And we need to take the time to pull those things we set aside every so often to see if they are still relevant, or if something needs to be changed, or if it needs to be let go.

Leaving something off to the side for too long can be cause issues sometimes depending on the topic.  Like marriage or health.  Put those things off to the side for too long and things can tend to fall apart.  And it sometimes takes a lot to bring it back.

Your life becomes what you make a priority.  As moms, we tend to put our kids as first priority.  Everything else seems to fall away, including who we are as a person.  A mom is only part of us.  But there is so much more to us.  Yes, at times are kids need to be number one priority.  But they can't always be in that spot.  There needs to be a flow between the things you make a priority.  And that is going to look different in different seasons, as kids grow up, as marriages gain years, as things change, as things grow.

What have you set down that you need to take a look at?

Thursday, June 27, 2019

For years now I have told myself or made it a goal to put my own health and well being a priority.  But it never stuck.  Why?  Probably because after a handful of months would go by I would fine myself wondering why I ever set it as a goal in the first place.

I always thought myself to be pretty healthy.  Had enough energy, got good sleep, wasn't sick that much during the Winter.  Beyond the physical side of things, mental I was in a good spot and had no real reason to dig deeper into things than necessary.

As the years went by, life changed.  It was rocked, I hit bottom (more times than I care to admit most days), I faced things I never ever thought would be placed on my path.  I have felt like I have been tossed under a bus, along with my knowledge, parenting, character and more.  I felt joy and extreme grief that rocks you to the core.  I have been left high and dry because others simple don't understand or don't want to or don't try.  I have changed and grown, only to have others around me want the "old me" back. 

I got tired of dragging my heals, of digging them in so deep that I never wanted them to be free about the time my youngest turned a year old.  I look at pictures of me from the day and think, wonder, what happened.  Where is the true inner peace?  Where is the deep joy?  Where is the happiness, gratefulness, love?  Where is the life?  Where is the wild, the free?  Where is me, the authentic real me?

I had lost sight of a lot of that back in 2011.  Life has a way of turning things upside down.  Those flips tend to carry through for the years to come.  We may or may not acknowledge them, let alone accept them, but they are there.  They are always tugging at us, always weighing on our shoulders.

A year ago I got serious about my own health and well being.  I faced post-partum depression and anxiety after my youngest was born in 2015.  It took me 16 months to finally accept things for what they were.  And when I mentioned to my doctor and opened up finally she said, it's a wonder you made it this far with everything you have been through and are currently going through.

Motherhood is nothing like we think it will be.  And no, it's not all unicorns and roses all the time.  It is the hardest thing we will face if we decide to grow our family.  It also has so many blessings and good moments.  But no one wants to talk about those tough ones, the ones that we don't like, the ones that just downright suck.

A part of my health and well being journey has been expanding or widening my views, my perspectives, letting myself grow and change as needed, learning, and waiting.  It goes beyond diet and exercise.  It goes beyond the food we put in and hitting the pavement to get ourselves moving.  It is about why we choose to eat what we are eating, it is about moving in a way that works with our body and the season we are in, it is about the mind, body, and spirit, it is about rest, both passive and active, it is about how we handle the twists, turns of this journey we are on.

What started out as a needed focus on changing my health through diet and exercise, became so much deeper.  Each month this year I have peeled back a new layer and in doing so I am becoming free, more authentic, and finding my natural me that has been hidden for far too long.  It's about healing, trusting, and letting go.

My word for the year is rejuvenation.  Each month one of those layers peeled away shows just how fitting the word is.  I wasn't sure where it would lead, but I am seeing now as we are half way through the year bits and pieces of so much more and I am excited to see what comes from it in the next half.

The boundaries I set today will help guide me in the months to come.  As I set up new boundaries, I am untangling the inner and outer mess around me.  I am giving myself permission to do, to be, to live.  I am connecting while disconnecting.  I am standing firm.  I am doing and I am resting.  I am utilizing my strengths and gifts, while accepting and acknowledging my weakness and limitations.  I am stronger, more confident.  I feel a deeper sense of joy and gratefulness. I am releasing and trusting.

Where will this lead?  I don't know.  But for now, I know I can face the day I have in front of me.  I can learn from yesterday.  I can set schedules and routines, rituals for tomorrow.  But I can still dream and see where it leads.

What can you do today that will grow you? free you? to let you live deeply?

Where do you need to untangle? need permission? need to set boundaries for you?