Mama, What You Do Matters

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I recently got to speak to a room full of moms, and each time I sat down to prepare for my time with them, the same image popped into my head over and over again. It was 2007, and I was in grad school. The class was on mentorship; each student had to have a mentor and be a mentor.

Who has been the most influential person in your life?

The professor asked in our initial gathering to get us all thinking about mentorship. I wonder if he was as surprised by the answers as I was. I was in a male-dominated industry and school and one by one, grown man by grown man, cited his mother as the most influential person in his life. There were stories of mothers praying for their sons daily, showing up to all of their games, supporting them, calling them, loving them, cheering them on, standing by them and modeling what a good wife and mother is to them. When it was my turn, I answered the same.

When it was my turn, I answered the same. My mom. She’s been- by far- the most influential person in my life. My mind flashed to that time she drove two hours from Ventura to Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo to drop off a tuition check I had spaced on so I could register for my freshman classes at my impacted college.

I wasn’t a mother at the time the question was posed, I wasn’t even married, but I distinctly remember thinking,

Woah. Moms matter.

 Did you hear that, Mama? Moms matter. What you do, day in and day out, let’s be real; night in and night out, matters. I know it all feels unseen and unnoticed. You feel unseen and unnoticed. Sometimes you wonder if you’re doing more harm than good. At night, when your head hits the pillow, your mind swirls with all the things you did wrong that day. You blew up at the kids, burnt dinner, forgot milk at the store, missed that deadline at work. You list all the things you didn’t get to because you were trying to keep your head above water. But kissing that boo-boo, and changing that diaper, and reading that book; again, and playing with his Thomas The Train, again. It matters. You’re slaying it; even when it doesn’t feel like it. You’re raising, sustaining and shaping whole, healthy humans.

One day that’s going to be your boy (or your girl) answering the question,

Who has been the most influential person in your life?

With a hearty, My mom. You probably won’t be there to hear it, and that’s a shame because you sure deserve to, but Mama, you’re doing it, Keep it up!

Happy Mother’s Day.

The Secret to Having It All

My husband and I recently went through a midlife crisis. No, he didn’t buy a Harley, nor a Porsche, and I didn’t go under the knife for a full “mommy makeover,” but we did spend the entire summer discontent and restless; looking to trade our lives in for an upgraded model.

It started as dissatisfaction with a few aspects of our lives, but soon we were disgruntled about everything; our daughter’s school, our house, our neighborhood, this very town. The more we found to be negative about, the more we found to be negative about; you know what I’m talking about, right? It’s like once you get that itchy, complaining, discontent ball rolling, it’s hard to curb, especially when you have a partner in it.

Soon we longed to be somewhere, anywhere else and to our surprise, an opportunity came up. My husband got a job in the promised land that is San Diego. His start date was Dec. 15th. We were working with a realtor to buy a house down south and another one to sell our home here. San Diego was happening. So, why weren’t we excited? Why weren’t we celebrating? Why weren’t we taking trips to view our ever-growing list of potential new homes?

These questions haunted us until we realized this relocation wasn’t what we wanted. Mark has two well-paying jobs here. My family, our support system, is a mile away. We have a beautiful home that we’ve spent time and money making our own over the years. I have a thriving ministry at our church. Ava started her school year after we made our decision and it was going surprisingly well. Ventura is funky, but it’s home.

We realized we didn’t have a location problem; we had an ingratitude problem.

We pulled out of the job and relocation; disappointing new bosses and much-loved friends; it’s still my one regret. I wish we had known the right decision for us earlier, but it took this process to figure it out. It’s like breaking off an engagement; ideally, the relationship doesn’t get that far in the first place, but better to break it off than go ahead with a wedding only for it to inevitably end in divorce. We felt peace for the first time in months.

While scrolling through social media the other day, I came across a quote that hit me like a ton of bricks:The secret to having it all is knowing you already do.

Simple yet profound, my favorite combination when it comes to words. On the heels of our “midlife crisis,” this message meant everything because it sums up our last couple of months perfectly. We’ve gone from dissatisfied about everything to downright giddy about all we have. It’s Thanksgiving, the season of gratitude and there’s so much to be grateful for, right under our noses.

Whole 30, Whole Me Part 2 And Shameless Plug

This post is Part 2 of Whole 30, Whole Me. Click here to read Part 1.

Mark and I been on Whole30 for almost three months now. Once we completed the initial 30 days, we cheated for Ava’s 6th birthday, a date night and Mark’s birthday. Two of the three times (the birthdays) were stamped with an enthusiastic “WORTH IT!” The other cheat, a date night gone wild, left us feeling bloated, sluggish, foggy-brained and hung over. Not worth it. Continue reading

Whole 30, Whole Me Part 1

EG Quote

I recently became sick of my own BS regarding my health. I had a ton of excuses as to why I’d put it on the backburner: I’m a busy mom of two small children, the writer’s life is a sedentary one, I’m an adult; free to eat and drink what I want. The truth was: I was out of control. I was twenty pounds overweight, I lacked self-discipline and I felt sluggish. Continue reading

Divine Appointment

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I need to write. I have a deadline.

The kids need their mom. You have a deadline, but you have kids too, remember? 

I do, thank you.

I know! I could go to the gym, work out for an hour and then leave them in the childcare for another hour or two to get some work done. 

That sounds like a blast for them.

No really, I’d bring them lunch in between working out and working. They love the childcare at the gym. 

It’s Saturday and it’s beautiful outside, you should take them to the park.” Continue reading

Let’s Do This, 2017!

coffee-notebook-pencil-work-desk-163131A new year.  A fresh start. I’m such a sucker for new and fresh, the hope and crispness get me every time. I have big plans for 2017 and I’m so excited to jump into them. My goals for this year, in order of importance:

God. Loving God and following hard after Him.

  • Wake up at 5am every morning to spend time with God through Bible study and prayer.

Continue reading

Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017!

dsc_0094As I sat down early yesterday morning, the last day of 2016, to reflect upon the year one word stuck out to me, refining. It was a resetting, refocusing, refining year for me and my marriage and my family. This was already true by the very beginning of 2016, God had called me to lay down my beloved ministry at our church three months earlier in November in order to focus on my family during Luke’s surgery and recovery and most likely longer. I wasn’t happy about this; I was weepy and downright angry. Continue reading