Inspiration · Parenthood

Staring down 2015

I really wish there was a quota for being sick each winter. Like…once you’ve had strep, the stomach bug, mastitis and a feverish cold, you could be free and clear the rest of the winter. Doesn’t that seem fair?

Well. One thing I’ve learned is that life is not fair. I know you all feel my pain here. So here I wait, ticking off the days until spring and until we can go out in public without slathering ourselves with hand sanitizer. I never, ever thought I’d be a germaphobe. Then I had kids and had to still take care of them while they are puking and feverish and while I myself was puking and feverish. It’s the purest form of torture.

Hence the hiatus in my posts. I am still writing/editing a post about my sweet friend Amanda and her rockstar son Xander. So

Just one man, staring down the world. (Or just a fat little toddler watching the birds outside...but you get the idea).
Just one man, staring down the world. (Or just a fat little toddler watching the birds outside…but you get the idea).

stay tuned for that.

For now, I feel the need to inspire you for this new year. If you could call it “inspiration.”

I wanted to blog about advent. But didn’t. Then I wanted to blog about Christmas. But didn’t. Then last night, as I sat on the couch with friends in my fat pants with a glass of wine and a plate of hot wings on my lap (we keep it real classy, people), I got to thinking about the past year.

Most of us can put a label on this past year. It was amazing! It sucked! What a roller coaster! Best year ever! Worst year of my life!

For us, while it could always be worse, it was just a long year. You could call it difficult, but it mostly revolved around our son who just didn’t sleep really great up until, oh, last week. There were countless nighttime wakings, scream fests, sicknesses, and us wondering, what the heck is wrong with our baby and why won’t he sleep? We discussed endless options…he’s too hot. Too cold. Too stressed. Too full. Too hungry. His crib is facing the wrong way. Too little whisky in his bottle (KIDDING).

When you’re exhausted, you’ll try anything. And anytime he did sleep for anything resembling a six hour stretch, we repeated as many of his circumstances as we could….same jammies, same blanket, same paci, etc…anything we could possibly replicate besides the diaper. We got so tired that several times, we even had that awful thought, “Why did we want another one, again? Life was so much easier before Gavin!”

And while I hesitate to type that, I have learned that nothing you feel as a parent is ever just you. So I’ll just be honest and put it all out there. I think we could all stand to do that a bit more, because I’ll also venture to say that nothing you feel as a human being is ever just you.

I repeat: nothing you feel as a human being is ever just you.

How’s that feel to say out loud? You’re not the only one who feels you’ve not figured out a single thing between 21 and 31. You’re not the only one who has questioned your choices. You’re not the only one who can be insanely happy one day, a wallowing mess the next, and not have any clue how choose one over the other. You’re not the only one to wonder, on a bad day, what you’d be doing if you had chosen another path. You’re not the only one to have questioned God. You’re not the only one to feel fear at the state of the world nowadays, or even the state of your own life. You’re not the only one who feels lonely, even in a house full of people. You’re not the only one who has hurt the people you love, who has asked for and been granted forgiveness. You’re not the only one with big dreams. You’re not the only one to question whether you have what it takes for 2015.

Love the path you're on.
Love the path you’re on.

So I’m putting it out there as a token of encouragement and moral support. You’re not the only one. This year I want to remember that. I want to embrace my gifts, my life as it is, my husband, my kids, my family and friends and my work. I want to welcome my feelings, good and bad; I want to welcome my questions, trust God with my doubts, and face my fears with much more grace than I did in 2014. I want to be more outspoken and brave about what’s on my heart and treat it all not only as a gift from God but as a gift to people in my life.

Within the past two weeks, Gavin has weaned himself (thank you, stomach bug!), cut two teeth, started walking, and finally began sleeping all night. I can’t tell you what a relief it is this kid has figured some things out. It’s been a struggle and has taken some time (read: ALL YEAR). But now that he has arrived in his own little way, I feel I can finally enjoy him a bit more than I was before.

I will try to remember that when I struggle. I am trying to figure things out in my own little way. The world can be a big and scary place. But I am given so much with which to navigate it. I just need to trust the tools God gave me. I want to trust the trials and struggles. I want to trust the process. I want to trust the heart in my chest, the brain in my head and the net of people He has placed around me. I want to trust Him.

 “The remarkable thing about God is that when you fear God, you fear nothing else, whereas if you do not fear God, you fear everything else.”

― Oswald Chambers

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