Cascade Falls

Last weekend, Clint suggested we do something out of the ordinary. Like go to Ouray or Telluride. Just do something fun. I am one of those people who rarely does things just for fun, especially not with two littles to tow around. It’s a shame cause we live in such a beautiful state and there are sooooo many things to do if you just go do them. So. We went on an adventure WITH Avi and Link. Pretty much out of my nature. I didn’t let myself dwell on all the things that could go wrong, another thing I do. 🙂 Just decided to go and have fun no matter what went wrong or right.

First off, we needed food and I needed a comfortable baby carrier. We stopped at McDonalds for nourishment (it can happen, just get out of your natural head and live life on the edge.) and then at Target for a baby carrier. I can’t justify spending lots of money on a baby carrier. I had used Twyla’s a week or so earlier and loved it. It was super comfy and it costs like $30. Right down my alley. I got it and off we headed to Ouray, to see Cascade Falls.

Good lands, am I ever out of shape. The tiny hike up to the falls made me WELL aware of that. That’s ok though. We made it up there and it was so lovely. You got the mist from the waterfall all over you and there are these great rocks around to sit on and rest if you’re out of shape like me. 🙂 It was probably a good 10-15 degrees cooler there than at home. Which was such a welcome relief. I declare this summer is hotter than usual. If it’s not hotter than more intense or something.

Clint and Avi went higher up to get even closer to the waterfall. I stayed down on the lower level because remember– out of shape, plus I wasn’t sure rock climbing was such a grand idea with a 3 month old strapped to my chest. Sadly, Lincoln very quickly decided he didn’t enjoy being there and that his stomach was on the empty side. So I headed back down to the vehicle. It was a pretty decent incline and I was nervous about my feet slipping out from under me. Made it down without damaging anyone. And low and behold, the son had fallen asleep being jostled down the side of the mountain. YAY! So I got to play in the creek for a while. After a while Clint and Avi joined me, we splashed around for a while and then headed off for some more nourishment. Of the frozen variety of course. Yum.

Moral of the tale– I need to stop being so stuck in my ‘can’t adventure with kids’ box. We all had lots of fun and had a chance to experience a beautiful waterfall as well as cooler temperatures. (Well not sure if Link had fun but hey, he survived.) I also should stop being so idealistic. It’s ok if I have to head to the vehicle before anyone else and we can’t all experience the same thing at the same time. We still have fun even if it’s not perfect. It’s a chance to live a little and get my feet wet.

Also–so glad I am married to this guy who pushes me out of my comfort zone.

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If you look to the right of this image you will see a man in a red shirt. That’s Clint. What you can’t see is the little girl that is with him. Yes, I was nervous. Yes, I prayed. 

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This was her ice cream cone but don’t be deceived, she had about three licks and said she didn’t like it. So Daddy took one for the team. 🙂 

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Look Mom, I’m an ice cream girl.

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Resurrected yet again

I’ve been trying to figure out if I should resurrect the old blog again. I feel like if I do my motivation for it needs to be determined. As in, am I writing for people or am I writing for myself? What does either of those options really mean? In the past I have been this odd mixture of writing for myself but also in fear of the people reading it. I would judge everything I write by what I thought people were going to say and if it was worth reading. I think if I am ever going to keep up my blog decently some goals/intentions/motivations need to be figured out.

I love to write. It creates an outlet for me and helps me process life. I hate journaling. I like the idea of having a record of my journey. I like to blog.  I hate the pressure I put on myself to write for people.

So. With all those things in mind, I have decided I will try yet again to keep up the blog. But as a journal of sorts, and I won’t write to make people happy. I will write because it makes me happy, helps me process life, and keeps a record of my journey.

So now you can make a decision. To read or not to read. It really doesn’t matter. Most likely I won’t post my new post updates via social media (except this one). At least not for the first while. So if you do have an interest in reading, you will have to figure out a way to keep up with it. 🙂  Also if you decide to read and I happen to say something that upsets you or you happen to disagree with it, you are welcome to comment and leave your opinion but do take into account that if it’s nasty or disrespectful I will delete it. I don’t mind if people disagree with me or challenge me, in fact I find it very thought provoking to hear other viewpoints. However, I hate when people say things via internet that they wouldn’t say if we were sitting and chatting somewhere. I will do my best to keep it real and honest and open as well as respectful, please do the same if you choose to comment.

So here I am I returning to the blogging world. You are welcome to read along if you want. 😊

Raw

The last week has been hard. So extremely hard. I have cried over and over. Things people said to me have had me completely broken apart inside. The words came from my husband, or a friend, or a family member. . . they didn’t mean to hurt me, they were probably clueless to the devastation I felt,  but the words triggered something deep inside of me. Something I thought I was doing a better job of handling.

A little over a year ago, I proved my brokenness by going to a counselor. I had 10 sessions with her over the course of 5 days. It was hard and ugly and incredibly beautiful. I left the facilities more broken and yet somehow more whole. During that week, we worked through so many layers of pain to get to the root of my belief system. I discovered that I had lived my life based on lies. Three main lies. I left knowing I would most likely face these lies for most of my life in some way or another but I also left knowing that I didn’t have to live my life out of those lies. Facing them is different than living them. So the last year I have been tackling those lies head on or so I thought.

It’s interesting how the lies show up. Recently one of my lies have been showing up in everything, even in nice things.

–It can come in the form of a compliment, “You’ve lost weight!! You look good!!!” I am worthless unless I am skinny. 

–It can show up in a discussion, “You assumed I meant something I didn’t mean.”  You’re not smart enough. You destroy relationships. You’re worthless.

–“Are you sure you’re going to be able to sell that??” You’re a failure. You can’t do anything right. You’re worthless. 

–“I really wish we would do more things with these people.” You always ruin everyones fun. Your feelings are not important. You’re worthless. 

Last night I was barely able to choke down my supper. Tears were running down my face the whole time cause I couldn’t make them stop. I didn’t even know how to make them stop at that point. My stomach was a ball of knots due to the anxiety of it all. I honestly wasn’t sure what was going on except that I was hurting really bad. It felt like I was overreacting. But at the same time I knew I  couldn’t downplay how positively wrecked I was.

My husband and daughter went on a walk, I curled up in a ball in the back room and cried and prayed. Then I grabbed a piece of paper and a sharpie, I began to write out the words swirling around my head. They all ended in ‘you’re worthless. worthless. WORTHLESS.”  As I wrote, the pain came up and out. I sobbed like a the broken little girl I am.

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Then I grabbed another piece of paper, and began to write truth for every one of the lies that I was hearing. I got some giant gold tape and taped the paper to my mirror, mistakes and all, so it’s the first thing I see every morning. Because, let’s face it, I’m not doing a good job of living out of truth. Satan has been winning in the battle for my mind.

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I am once again wearing my truth bracelet. It jingles everywhere I go, singing to me, “You are priceless, You are beloved.” (btw, it’s be-love-ed. if you say it where everything flows together like the newish Christian song, I cringe. I like it better when it’s said the old fashioned way.) I am raw these days. You might see tears run down my face a lot. Or I might look pretty exhausted. It’s cause I’m fighting and it’s a hard, hard fight, but I WILL WIN.

p.s. Please don’t read this and be like, “oh my word, I have to be so careful what I say around her.” NO! NO! NO! That is the furthest thing from my mind. I am responsible for the lies that I believe. The lies that I have allowed myself to believe and live can turn the most beautiful words into something repulsive. Don’t tiptoe around me.  I need you to be you, I love honestly and openness, the last thing I want is for you to hide yourself away out of fear.

Wanted

This morning I woke up feeling extremely depressed. One of those days where I just want to go back to bed, pull the covers over my head, and try again another day. But my girl needs me to feed her breakfast, the bread needs to be made, and the house needs cleaned. So I can’t do that.

I pulled myself out of bed, got dressed, cause I knew that was the only way I was going to feel motivated to get my work done. . . Motivated, wait, no, no motivation whatsoever. I need determination today. Getting dressed helps feed my determination for some reason.  Got my bread all mixed up and rising, started my laundry, and  then started to clean. I was trying to decide what to listen while I cleaned, it’s usually an audiobook or music. Because I was feeling depressed I chose music, it usually helps me focus on better things. I picked an album I haven’t listened to yet, no idea what was on it. It helped, if nothing else it made me grin cause my girl can’t sit still when music comes on, she HAS to dance. (no joke, we go out to eat and she can hardly sit still long enough to eat cause there’s always music playing, SHE. MUST. DANCE.) Continued to clean and after a bit these words poured out of the speakers, “God, you don’t need me but somehow you want me, oh, how you love me and somehow it frees me to take my hands off of my life and the way it should be. God, you don’t need me, but somehow you want me, oh how you love me, and somehow that frees me to open my hands up and to give you control.” The tears ran down my cheeks and I couldn’t make them stop for quite some time.

He wants me. Not because He needs me. He just wants me.  I didn’t realize how much I needed to hear that. Something in my heart was starving to be wanted, not for what I can give someone but just because I am me. He just wants me. That knowledge did free me to open my hands up and give Him control. I didn’t know I was struggling with control again. I didn’t know my fists were clenched tightly and fiercely. A lot of things have happened the last couple weeks that have shown me just how NOT in control I am. It terrifies me to not be able to keep everything/everyone safe and happy. Those fears and control issues sorta melt away when I remember that He loves me. He wants me. Like really loves me. And really really wants me.

I’ll be honest, I feel weird sharing this post today. That’s what happens when I wait too long between posts. But I WILL push the publish button because maybe someone out there is also having a rough day and just needs to be reminded that they are wanted and deeply loved. If you are that person, please listen to the song: Control by Tenth Avenue North

 

Reality Check

I am the mother of an incredibly independent child. She rarely needs help with things. She will just move them if they are in her way, clean them if they are dirty, fly around the stores in a mad rush, hmmming over the things she thinks she might need. I forget that she’s just a toddler, just 2 almost 3, because usually she’s 2 going on 16.

This week has been a bit over the top in the whining department. (Probably for both mother human and daughter human) Mornings are nightmares, and it usually goes down hill from there, by the time Clint comes home in the evening I am ready to hand him the child and run for the hills. I have been ready to pull my hair out or break into uncontrollable sobs all week. The stress level at the little house on the green has been way up there. It hasn’t exactly been pretty either.

Last night, we came home from the ball field, she was having one of her melt down whining parties. I threw her in the bath tub and went out to water my parched flowers. She was under the supervision of her daddy and I was under the supervision of my Creator. (ahem) He showed me some vital things I was forgetting.

1, My child needs me even if she’s Little Miss Independent. She needs me to sit with her and snuggle on the couch. She needs stories read to her and my undivided attention. She needs kisses and hugs. She needs me to play with her. I haven’t been doing a good job of that. She acts so grown up, I expect her to not need me or even want me to hang out with her. But she’s two. She needs me.

2, I need her. I need to snuggle with her. I need to hear her giggle. I need to stop what I am doing and watch her dance in the kitchen. I need to dance with her occasionally even though it makes me feel like a dork. Sometimes, in all honesty,  I need her more than she needs me.

3, My two most important jobs are —> pursuing my relationship with Christ, and loving the two people I live with well. If I reach the end of the day and those are the only two things I got done, that’s ok. In fact, that’s perfect. Gourmet suppers and spotless houses, shoot, even getting dressed, none of those matter in the end. Loving well, that matters throughout all eternity.

4, Someday I will look back at this time and wish I could live it again. I will miss this stage. So it’s time to stop throwing a fit and be grateful for everything, even the whining.

5, These are not just MY days, they’re her days too. I need to focus on doing something fun/profitable for HER not the loads of work {I} need to get done.

So I came in, bathed my child, who once again had a major meltdown. Breathed deep, asked her if she wanted to put her jammies on and drink some milk. (ultimate comfort for my emotional 2 year old girl) Told her I was sorry she was so sad. She sniffed a bit and excitedly ran out to get her milk. We snuggled on the couch with stuffed animals for a while. It was amazing how much different she acted. . . or maybe it was just my perspective shifting. Instead of a whining toddler, I could see a little soul that needed some love. I am not sure what really changed in that moment her or me. I do know this –> I am so grateful for a God who gives me reality checks. I cannot imagine trying to do life, especially motherhood, without His hand guiding me.

Unquestionably Free

“You are free to go, Jesus has taken your place.”

I was listening to Odyssey last week (Yes, I still do that. Yes, I know I am supposed to be an adult.) and that phrase was said.  It hit me like a ton of bricks.  I’ve been thinking about it ever since. It’s not the first time I have heard that phrase but it’s the first time I really HEARD it deep inside my soul. It seems like such a vital thing to realize. Having known Jesus for as long as I have you would think I would have really HEARD it ages ago. But somehow I missed it

I have grown up in a culture reacting to another culture. In order to keep from becoming too free we have built up all kinds of things to keep us safe. The love of God is there, yes but goodness, don’t focus on that too much you might lose sight of His holiness. The grace of God is there, yes, but don’t get so caught up in it that you forget His hatred for sin. The God I have known has been pretty scary. Sure, He loves me but His holiness keeps me at arms length. Sure, He’s gracious but He knows I’m going to sin again and He’s just waiting to unleash His fury on me. I’ve been working through some of that. I am beginning to believe in His love as unconditional. A big giant hug even though I am covered in filth kind of love, NOT an arms length kind of love. That has been revolutionary. I am finally beginning to grasp that I don’t have to be afraid of the love of God leading me astray, the love of God is actually what keeps me safe. To add the concept of being truly free. . . I can hardly fathom that. It’s like discovering another facet of His great love for me.

“You are {free to go}, Brittany, Jesus has taken your place.”

That means no guilt, no shame, no sin. He has completely taken my place. I can hold my head up because He has taken my place.

John 8:36, “So if the Son makes you free, then you are unquestionably free.”

I don’t even know what to do with all that. . . it’s so incredibly beautiful.

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I Miss Her

Her face comes to me. Her laugh. The sound of her voice. Her pet words and phrases. Her tiny hands and wrists. And the awful, awful sound of the dirt as it lands on her coffin. They haunt me.

Almost three years later, I grieve. And I grieve harder than I thought possible. I thought I had faced it. I thought I had worked through it. Perhaps in some ways I did but I certainly didn’t work through all of it.

I miss her. This wasn’t supposed to happen. She was supposed to still be here. But she’s not.

It hurts.

My last trip to South Carolina was the first time I really had to deal with the fact that she is gone. My trips ‘home’ would be different if she was still there. She knows about parts of my life that only a few others know. She was a big, big part of my life. She missing. I miss her so.

Grief is weird. At least for me. Probably cause avoiding it was my way of dealing with it. To have it all come washing over me like this… I just don’t understand it. To really look at the pain, to not allow myself to look away from it. Goodness, does it ever hurt. It doesn’t feel like it’s been three years, it feels like it was yesterday. Sometimes I can hardly breathe cause it hurts so bad. I often find myself crying in my bed at night. A deep ache in my heart comes out of no where.

If it’s taught me anything it’s that grief does not just go away when we try to ignore it. There’s this big hole in your heart. When you finally look at that hole you discover that so much of life has been affected by it. Instead of getting better, it got worse and infected other areas of your heart as well.

It’s also taught me that life is too short to avoid the people you love simply because it’s awkward, socially unacceptable, or you disagreed, or even fought about something. We only get this one chance to love them well. It might be our last chance. If you love someone, hug them tightly. Forgive them quickly if they hurt you. Go out for coffee. Hang out with them if you at all get the chance… make it work. There might be a time when you wish you could see them one more time and you can’t. Those things (awkward, unconventional, disagreements, and the like.) you thought were big things suddenly are seen for what they really are–ridiculous.

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