Tuesday, November 19, 2019

The Loads We Carry ~ Peeling Back the Layers

Take a moment, sit back, and let your mind wander. 

Ask yourself this, what load am I carrying that I need to lay down once and for all?  Or what loads?  Or what loads do you need some help with?

Here we are, it's November...halfway through the month and only 6 weeks left until the end of 2019.

I will be honest, at times it feels like just a few days ago we were in the midst of a long cold Winter and I was gearing up for a new year, and what I hoped 2019 to look like.  From goal setting, to a yearly word with monthly ones to connect the dots, to much more.

Back in the beginning of 2018 I felt things needed to change and I realized that it had to start with me.  What that meant and where it would lead, I had no idea at that point.  But it was the beginning of a shift.  A shift that kept going on in other areas of my life, throughout the rest of that year.

Moving into 2019, the shift continued and I picked my word for 2019, rejuvenation.   At the beginning of the year I didn't know what this would look like or where it would lead.  But after the shifts that happened the year before, I was ready to face the year ahead

Little did I know that the year would be full of change, letting go, stepping out of my comfort zone, healing, and growing.  It meant laying down loads.  I didn't know that there were so many that I had been carrying that I no longer needed to carry, were not mine to carry at all, or that I needed to shift my mindset on.

Laying down these loads, has allowed me to peel back layer upon layer of myself.  It has given me freedom in my time and energy, as well as my mental and physical well being.  Allowing myself to take up space where I am supposed to and becoming more of who God made me to be.

In many ways, I had lost sight of that, along with my value and worth.  Always left feeling lost and wondering if I am doing enough, or if I am enough. 

But in laying down the loads, I began to really see who I was, who I wanted to be, and where I was headed.  I began to see I was thriving, feeling it and believing it. 

So I ask you, what loads are you carrying?  Which of these loads do you need to set down?  Where do you need to ask for help (it's okay to ask)?

I have found a renewed sense of peace and joy, rest and rejuvenation, and so much more as the year has gone by.  I have found me.

The process is not always easy, but it was worth it.  It was worth investing the time, space, and energy.  I still have some layers to peel back, and a few more loads to lay down.  But day by day, it is getting there. 

As we round out November, a time for focus on all the things we are thankful for, and move into December a time for peace I encourage you begin peeling back those layers and set yourself free.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Closing Another Chapter ~ Saying Goodbye to the Crib

We began this parenting journey in 2010.  When we first found out we were pregnant we began to make space in our house to set up a nursery and make more storage space.

As we began to clear out the room that would become the nursery, we began preparing for our little one's arrival.  This meant a road trip to pick up the crib.

In 2011, we never set the crib up because our daughter came earlier into our lives than anticipated.  So all the prep and set up got put on hold until our first son came into our world.  And there in the what would have been nursery, the crib sat.

But once the time came around to get ready for my oldest son's arrival we were ready to set the nursery up.  With the help of family, we put the nursery together and I put the finishing touches into the room to make it ready for him.  The crib was the first thing I assembled and put into it's place.  And when we moved to a new house, the crib was the first thing I assembled and put into it's place.

When our second son arrived, his space was in the pack play in our room.  His room was no where near ready to be turned into a nursery for him at that point.  And I wasn't ready to have my oldest out of the crib and neither was he.

But the time came when he had to move to a bigger bed so we could have the crib ready for his brother.  So began the shift.  The shift to a bigger bed, but we still had the crib.  As my oldest got excited to have a bigger bed, I was excited to put the nursery together.  As my oldest transitioned from babyhood, toddler-hood, to kid mode I watched my youngest slowly begin to fill out the crib.

Soon, it would no longer fit him and the stuffies he wanted in it.  We prepared him by saying he would be needing a bigger bed soon, but he kept pushing back with that he wanted to keep his bed.  At this point, one crib side was off and just a bed rail in its place.  He was able to crawl in and out of bed.  I was still happy that I got to carry him to bed and put him in.

He turned 4 near the end of October and was still in the toddler crib bed.  He was truly getting to big for it.  He was out of babyhood and toddler-hood, and here he was starting into kid mode.

Looking back, it was only this past June that we got him out of a sleepsack.  He was 3 1/2 at the time, but still loved that thing.  It was bittersweet.  He was so darn cute walking around in it, but I was also ready for him to be done with them and we were also at a point we couldn't size up anymore, as well as he was wearing through the corners within months.

Potty training ensued shortly after, and as his pediatrician said, according them he was considered potty trained.  Yet still in diapers when he sleeps, here he was a big kid.

So, my baby, no longer a baby, out of a sleep sack, potty trained, and ready for a big bed.  We got the big bed this past weekend.  He is beyond excited to have it now.  He grins from ear to ear when you mention it.

But now we have a crib.  A crib that will no longer hold a baby in it.  For the past 6 years, there has been someone to make it their own space, someone snuggled in, someone cozy and comfy.

We made the decision that we were done growing our family and our family was complete in May of 2017.  In some ways it was an easy decision and in others it took some time to come to.  You can read about it by clicking here: Crossing the Next Bridge ~ Family.

Sure, on and off I felt a small twinge of, well maybe one more kiddo.  But as I sat with that thought, I felt more and more that we were in a good spot and we were in the spot we were meant to be.  As a matter of fact, I haven't felt that twinge in awhile.  I still love holding a little one for a bit, but the chapter of pregnancy, newborn, baby, toddler has come to a close.

But the crib.  Taking it apart, putting it away, felt so...so final.  Like it is the end of a chapter.  It's not the end of the story by any means.  It is just the end of a chapter or well a few.  I have two sons, to kids who are growing and becoming more independent daily.

I used to yearn and strive to find 10 minutes to type, to workout, or read, or even fulfill my own bucket.  To rest, to grow, to be me.  Now, I can sit and write while they do their school work.  I can get in some bucket filling throughout the day and recharge.  I workout most days.

I make mistakes, I fail, I yell, I cry...but I laugh, I succeed, I try.  At times I think, if I could go back to a certain timing, season, or phase it would be easier.  But the reality is, every stage has it's difficulties, and yet it has it's good things too.  And every stage comes to an end.

It is going to take some getting used to not seeing my youngest in the crib.  Before I know it, it will be a distant memory and the big bed will be normal.

So as we close out the chapter, as we put the crib away, I look to the future and where things are headed.  The crib has provided safety and comfort.  Now we expand the boundaries just a little further, set ourselves a little freer, and get ready to fly.

As we put the crib away we move forward to the next spot on our journey.  Not fully knowing where it will lead,  but still trusting in God and his plan.

What chapter are you closing?  What will the next one be about?