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butterflies

For a while now, I have felt restless in my role as “stay-at-home mom.”    Good or bad, having fought the infertility battle years ago in order to create our family, I probably took-on my mom role with more intensity than some .  And, when autism was added to the mix, being a mom became real “serious business.”

Our family took a pretty big hit during those early years of parenthood.  Most of our time and energy was focused on getting our boy the therapies that he needed, fulfilling basic needs and grasping for spaces of time here and there to breathe.  That said, almost 10 years later, I finally feel like all the pieces might be coming together.  With both my girl and boy in school for the past several years, I have spent a good deal of time finding myself again, pursuing my passion for creating art, allowing myself to grieve, and celebrating my boy and girl as they become more independent.

While my soul has emerged in so many ways, I feel like I have remained partially stuck inside the cocoon.  Half of me mired in the serious business of being a good mom and wife and half of me trying to figure-out how to take flight in a new form.  So, when my husband and I sat across from a family counselor a while back, it suddenly became clear to me that I had never fully shared this readiness to take flight.  I mean, I thought I had, but somehow, the message became watered-down in the process.

With this new awareness, my husband and I are discovering the healing power of learning to be assertive with our own needs, not just the kids’, and to take the time to encourage and celebrate each others’ efforts as we grow together.  Instead of simply “surviving,” as a family, we are on our way to thriving.  And it. feels. good.

As we take flight as a family, I also look forward to taking flight in my art business.  Over the summer, I devoured artist Kelly Rae Robert’s e-book:  Flying Lessons.  One piece of advice that spoke to me as I read through Kelly Rae’s book is that I need to commit to my art and my business.  Up until recently, I felt safer staying half-stuck in my cocoon, in my official “stay-at-home-mom” status, while simply treating my art as a hobby. If I really want to take flight, though, I need to allow my wings to fully develop.  I need to shed that last layer holding me back from completely emerging.

So, here I sit.  Warm mug in hand and a year full of possibilities before me.  I can’t wait to see how it feels to fly!

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mytexturedday (3)

My Textured Day

 Floors creak.

Young voices chatter.

Wild-blonde hair frames a girlish face.

PJ clad boy and girl send Matchbox cars skidding.

We fuel our bodies.

Prepare for launch.

Take-off!

schoolbus

Shoes lace.

Gravel crunches.

Bare branches reach towards the sky.

Stream gurgles.

Body finds rhythm.

walkingshoes

Red chair beckons.

Come sit with Me.

Feel my presence.

Allow Me to fill your cup.

redcomfychair

Music soars.

Color.

Texture.

Movement.

God and I.

We create joy!

canvasontable2

Remember to refuel.

Gather for the family.

Wash away dirt.

Prepare the nest.

laundryindryer

Day’s contents spill to the floor.

Celebrate hard work.

Practice new skills.

Guide with patience.

Encourage perseverance.

Benhomework

Fingers knead pages.

Lips whisper words.

Tired little bodies rest.

Benholdingbook

Basketballs dribble.

Markers draw houses.

Hands prepare sustenance.

Eyes turn towards dusk.

Emmaballunderleg2

Gather around Light.

Give Thanks.

Facilitate stories.

A circle is drawn.

Dinnercandle

Clean-up crumbs.

Pack nourishment for tomorrow.

Share laughter.

Be present.

Monopoly

Wash half-grown feet.

Wrap in warmth.

Read comfort.

Murmur prayers.

Emma'sdevotional

He and I.

We sigh.

Flames flicker.

Souls connect.

Breathe contentment.

eveningartproject


(No better way to say, “Welcome!” than dirty window panes alongside our front door.)

Well, I am on day 2 of my “raw writing project,” and I found myself mentally composing what I wanted to write about over the weekend in anticipation of having to sit-down at the computer today without editing my thoughts.  I have felt this need to write about cleaning lately.  And while I had some funny, quirky thoughts to share with you, I’m not sure what direction my writing will take me this morning.

Last year, when my youngest started kindergarten, I was just looking forward to having longer amounts of time to clean and do chores without having to rush to pick my girl up from preschool.  During that first month after the bus whisked my girl away each morning, I went straight to work, washing clothes, cleaning bathrooms and mopping floors.  And then, I realized that there had to be more to life than keeping a clean house.  Really, I don’t enjoy cleaning all that much.  I like a clean, tidy house, but I don’t like cleaning in its rawest form.  Scrubbing toilets and pushing the mop across the floor just don’t do a lot for me.  Now decluttering, organizing and arranging, I get a little more out of that, as it appeals to my love for aesthetics.  Getting sweaty and dirty, not so much.  Needless to say, after a few months of making cleaning my priority (I am a stay-at-home mom!), I realized it just wasn’t what I wanted to be doing all the time.

(Poopy bird’s nest on our front porch that I’ve meaning to clean-out for over a year now.)

When I really started to listen to these empty parts of my self, I realized that doing things like writing and art would be much more fun and fulfilling.  These are things for which my soul yearned.  So, I had to get past the guilt of feeling like my house should be shining at all times just because I stay-at-home.  Funny how we put ourselves in a box without even realizing it.  What has been working for me since I moved past this guilt, is turning my schedule upside down.  Instead of diving into cleaning in the mornings, I spend this time doing what really feeds my soul and I do it with abandon.  The cleaning gets done, not always perfectly, but it does get done.

Some people might be surprised to hear how much I dislike cleaning, mainly because if you walk in my house, it’s usually pretty neat looking, as long as you don’t look too close.   But, folks, I have dirt here!  I even took pictures to show you.  As I bent over my kitchen floor yesterday afternoon, my girl laughed when I told her I was taking pictures of dirt.  “And you’re going to show them to your friends?!” she asked.  “Yes!”  I said, quite pleased with myself.  I am ready to show you my dirt!  That’s a big thing for me, because I normally want you to at least think I am “perfect,” even though I know I am not.

One day, maybe I will make some money with my writing and art and will be able to pay someone to do some of my dirty work, but for now, it’s just me and I am so happy to have these great kitchen tiles that hide dirt so well!


(The sticky spot on our kitchen floor which I just wiped-up after maybe a week?!)

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