I don’t want to cry over cold coffee.

I’m gonna be honest, here…

I’ve had a rough go of it over the last few months. For whatever reason, my stress and anxiety have taken a pretty bad turn and at the beginning of each day I think, “Is this really how the day is going to go?” and then at the end of each day I think, “Seriously? Do I have to be like that?”

I get angry with myself because my attitude is ugly. All day long, I feel impatient and then I get mad at myself for being impatient. I feel irritated, and then I get mad at myself for being irritated. I feel rushed, and then I get mad at myself for being rushed. And that list? It just goes on and on and on.

In the mornings, I find myself in utter chaos. Toys have been flung everywhere, my 16-month-old is asking to nurse for the 3rd time in an hour, my 3-year-old is taking every single toy away from the 16-month-old (which is what’s making him want to nurse 3 times in an hour), and the coffee (that I made at 6am) is cold and the devotions (that I began at 6:15am) sit before me, half-finished. When I catch a moment to dive back into my devotions, my 16-month-old brings me all of his favorite books and makes his little “Uhhhhhhhhhhhhh?” sound that means, “Will you read this to me?” while making the sign for “please.” And I want to smile, and weep, and crawl into a hole, and read a thousand books to that precious boy all at the same time. And I just think, why am I so stressed out? What is it in me that causes me to react so strongly to this chaos? Why does my brain feel like it’s about to explode every time one of my children need something from me?

I don’t know. I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know.

But in the midst of the stress, and the anxiety, and the weeping, I can hear this voice in the back of my head: “Slow down. Just slow down. One day, your boys won’t be begging you to read Snuggle Puppy 5 times in a row. One day, Forrest won’t want to nurse 3 times in an hour, or ever. One day, Jack will stop wanting to cuddle your arm and kiss it 70,000 times. Just slow down.”

And I’m so perplexed because I keep trying to listen to this voice, and yet – I fail. I feel defeated, and I want to ask you, “Is this just the way it is?”

But I don’t want to hear an empathetic “Yes,” or “It’s just a season,” or whatever. I refuse to believe that this is what I must settle for – even if it’s just for a season. I refuse to believe that I cannot overcome this in this season.

If there’s one thing I’m positive of, it’s that God made me the mama of my boys for a reason. He gave me to them, and he gave them to me – and that also means that he gave me the tools for the job. He gave me the ability to rise above the stress and look at the situation for what it really is.

It’s beautiful. Beautiful chaos. And I know that.

I’m just trying to figure out how to live that. I’m trying to figure out which pocket of my brain has all those tools stashed away in there.

I don’t want to cry over cold coffee. I don’t want to have to remind myself to take deep breaths when my baby asks me to read to him.

I want to remember, “I’m gonna miss this,” right in that moment – and then choose to cherish it all.

Because what’s a cup of hot coffee when compared to my babies curled up in my arms?

Advertisements

16 Comments

Filed under on being a mama

Six Dreaded Months

Six

whole

months.

Even as I write this, I’m giggling to myself. How weird would it be if someone who’d dyed their hair red, for example, were to write updates on the state of their hair? “It’s been 6 months since I dyed my hair [red/blonde/brown/black/whatever]. I feel like such a different person!” Hehe. It seems kind of trivial if you look at it like that — but with dreadlocks, it’s just…different.

Anyway, I haven’t gone into a lot of detail about my dreads, so I figure that their half-birthday is as good of a reason as any to enlighten any of my curious readers.

I think anyone with dreadlocks would admit that there are stages in which either you hate the way they look and want to rip them off your head, or you’re so in love with them that you get a little misty-eyed at the thought of ever chopping them off. In general, although I’ve experienced both stages, I have found that I usually land somewhere on the love side of things. I love them and they feel like they’re part of me, but I also sometimes forget that they’re even on my head. And that’s not to be taken as a careless remark – I think, actually, that it speaks a lot about how me they really are. They just belong there – so much so that I forget to consider that they ever weren’t there. Are you following me? Hehe.

My wash routine has stayed pretty consistent. I started with really, really short hair, so I washed my dreads once a week until they were about a month old. Then, once they were more locked up, I began to wash them twice a week, and I’ve continued to do so ever since. I wash with a rosemary shampoo bar that I buy from my local food co-op. I wrap my head in a towel afterwards and then I allow my hair to air-dry. Easy-peasy!

Surprisingly, I’ve gotten very few (positive or negative) comments while out in public. I’ve had one incident where I could tell a couple of goofy highschool girls were giggling at me, but other than that, I haven’t gotten any weird looks or anything. In our city, dreadlocks are fairly common, which probably has a lot to do with the lack of attention. I can’t say I mind!

If I could do it all over again…I’d do it again. I would! I was about to say that my dreads have taught me a lot – but let me be honest here – God has taught me a lot. By choosing to wear my hair like this, I gave up (the lie that I even had) a lot of control. My hair does its own thing. I have to roll with it. People may have their own (sometimes opposing) opinions. I have to roll with it. Sometimes I don’t look very put-together. And I’m reminded that on the inside, I’m not really very put-together either, and I’m glad that I can’t just resort to appearing like I am. God is in control. I am not. If anything, in my dread journey, I’ve come face-to-face with that single truth more than anything else.

Giving up my hair – choosing to wear it this way – is a reminder for me. It reflects what’s in my heart. I’m slightly messy and out of control, but creative and eccentric and I was chosen and I’m supposed to be here.

And now, any dreadlock-related questions out there? Ask away – I’ll respond in the comments section!

Pssst…see also:

Do you dread change?

5

Dreadlock Chronicles on Flickr (I promise to have Ryan take some real pictures of my head soon!)

and there’s also the dreadlocks tag on my sidebar for all posts pertaining to my locks

1 Comment

Filed under photographs, things we celebrate

Littlespeak, Part 2

It was early in the morning and I was taking a quick shower before beginning our busy day. Jack peeked around the shower curtain and asked, quite sincerely, “Mama, what are you taking?”

“A shower,” I said.

He smiled. “Oh.”

Oh, the things he says.

2 Comments

Filed under laughter is good, on being a mama

this moment

{this moment: Jack’s house}

find other moments here

1 Comment

Filed under photographs

floating, twirling

I rarely sit down at my computer. I usually have at least 2 or 3 emails waiting for replies, and I often have a pile of mental notes dancing around in my brain, faintly reminding me to read a certain blog or to check a certain sale or to find a certain recipe. Oh, and then there’s my blog.

(My blog and I have a bit of a rough relationship. If you’ve been reading my stuff for a while, you know that my blog and I are a struggling couple. We’re seeing it through, but it’s not easy.)

I am coming to terms with my desire to write. Like, to really write. I’ve always wanted to be a writer but recently, all of my life dreams have sort of combined and then spontaneously imploded within each other – I know they’re still there, somewhere in the mess, – floating and twirling and vaguely tottering back and forth, the way dreams do – but the difficulty lies in articulating them and then practically pursuing them.

Do you know what I mean?

So, although I’ve already articulated my desire to write several times throughout my life, I was especially aware of it during the past week, and I was even feeling the faintest bit of irritation with myself for sitting in front of this wall (otherwise contemptuously known as writer’s block) for so long now. I’m so over sitting in front of this stupid wall.

I realized that I am a strange, tormented type of person – a person who can’t seem to stop thinking about her fears, her hopes, her failures and her successes. I am someone who cannot escape the trap of my mind, and yet – within that trap, there is a flood of words and art and beauty just waiting to escape. I know it. I know it because I am a writer. So many of us are tormented by ourselves. And sometimes, the torment simply comes from subtly refusing to acknowledge our utter need to write – to take part in something larger than ourselves, something uncontrollable, something scary, something beautiful except that we don’t know how it got so beautiful.

To some of you, this will sound like rambling.

To the artists – the writers, the painters, the potters, the photographers, the musicians…well, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

So, not only have I chosen to inwardly acknowledge this dream of mine, but I’m also facing the scary reality of admitting it out loud. Not just to my husband or my mom or my friend – but to all of you. Whoever you are.

I’m a writer.

And while we’re talking about dreams (or was that just me talking?), I have to say something else. There is a deeply-seeded desire within me to simplify. Not just by getting rid of junk or driving one car or only cooking from scratch. Yes, those things are a part of the bigger picture, but oh how my heart longs for a simple life. A little white farmhouse full of children. A garden. Some animals. An outdoor fire over which I cook all my summer meals. A clothesline full of billowing sheets and diapers and my husbands socks and dishrags. Widlflowers and strolls through the forest and picnics and oh, my heart just hurts for these things. Not because I am a young girl with impractical ideals, but because I cannot stomp these yearnings from my heart.

Perhaps it will come to be. Perhaps not. But I am looking for them – looking for my farmhouse, and my forest, and my clothesline – I’m watching for them in case they happen to be waiting for me to notice them.

I do not know what will come, but I am not going to use that as an excuse to quit searching for a home for my dreams.

My floating, twirling dreams.

5 Comments

Filed under tea-timing

Littlespeak

Whenever I sit down to nurse Forrest to sleep, Jack says, “Where is Brudder going?” It’s taken me a while to figure it out, but I finally realized that he asks where his brother is going because I always say, “Forrest is going to sleep.”

Hehe. Little people.

4 Comments

Filed under laughter is good, on being a mama, photographs

Wish

Do you ever just wish you could drink coffee all day long? Not because you need the caffeine (but maybe you do), but just because it’s so comforting and earthy and delicious. And it makes you think of morning, because morning always has such a fresh sense of new and clean and good –

but if you drank coffee all day long, then it probably wouldn’t remind you of the morning

anymore.

And do you sometimes wish that it was easier to be happy? Not because you’re unhappy, but because you know that it takes so much effort to keep all of your blessings in mind and choose thankfulness when you’d really rather just pout or

whine or eat cake. Sometimes.

And do you

sometimes

wish that you could stop time?

Just freeze everything and stroke your baby’s cheek while he nurses and admire your toddler’s smile and his sun-kissed hair and the way his wide eyes look when he’s looking through a book that he loves. Take that one second and turn it into 10, 60, a million seconds. And just try not to let those moments pass unnoticed.

Do you?

4 Comments

Filed under on being a mama, tea-timing