Thursday, February 25, 2016

Reflections from 20.

I have been thinking a lot about turning 30. I didn't realize how much it would make me think about all that happened in my 20's. So I thought in honor of entering the next decade of my life I would share a few of the major things I learned in the last.
Overall I think my 20's was a decade of beginnings. I began a career, a marriage, and parenthood. I believe my 30's will focus a lot on growing these things.
So here we go- things I've learned.

On Love
Don't make someone your priority if you are just their option. No matter how hard you try, you cannot make someone love you the way you love them. Loving them really well does not mean they will love you well. Sometimes it is really hard, but walking away is probably the right choice.

Love is not a feeling- it is a choice. You have to wake up every day and CHOOSE to love your spouse. And if you can find someone who is willing to do the same with you, who you really enjoy, and who makes you happy. MARRY THEM. IMMEDIATELY.

On Money
Don't owe people money. Not the car people, or the student loan people, or the people at VISA, CHASE, AMX or MASTERCARD. Or your mom or dad, or sweet little grandma. Just don't owe people money. Work hard. Pay off the money you owe, and then don't owe people money ever again. It's weird to be debt free- and it's amazing.

Give your money away generously. If someone needs something and you can, buy it for them. Skip starbucks, resturaunts, and other luxuries- take care of the people around you. (And then they will take care of you too)

Prepare for the unknown- IE unforseen medical expenses- yes it stinks to spend your savings on medical expenses, but not having the added stress of not knowing where the money will come from is kinda a big deal.

On Sickness/ Loss
Sickness happens. Genetic disorders happen. Autism happens. People die.  It wasn't "Gods plan". In fact, HIS plan didn't include sickness- because he didn't intend for this world to be a place of sin and brokeness. However, it is. Sickness just happens. It's not your fault. Just do your best with the card's you've been dealt. Try to learn and grown and prosper in all circumstances. Cry when you need to. Be a comforter to others when that is called for. When you feel like you might drown "Just keep swimming".

On Rest/Work
Work from your Rest. Make having a day of rest a TOP priority in your life. Four hours of doing something that seems restful to you once a week can make all the difference- more than four hours- is seriously amazing! When I say have a day of rest- I mean PUT IN ON OUR CALENDAR- and schedule around it, it is that important.
It is okay to say no to things. An overly packed calendar doesn't really mean a fuller life, just a busier one.

On God
God loves me so incredibly much. He wants good things for me. And even if my plan, and what happens are really really different, it doesn't change the goodness of God. There aren't many constants in life. But the truth that God Loves me, and He wants good things for me are some that never change.

In general
Be kind to others- you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.
Be honest. (While still being kind)
Be generous.


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Bed time reflections.

I don't often put Emmaus to bed. It just happens that as our nightly rhythms line up I generally put the baby to bed and then spend some quality time just with Shiloh before it's her turn, and Dan takes care putting Emmaus to bed.
But a couple nights ago I was on triple duty and got to put Emmaus to bed. We have a very specific rhythm with her as sleeping in general isn't her strength and bedtime has always been rough. Currently we tuck her in and sit on the floor or her room till she falls asleep. As I sat on her floor in the dark with one hand resting gently on her head I began thinking about Emmaus' life, and how it has changed me.
I pondered the struggles we daily face, and the hope and beautiful life that comes with it. Sometimes I am still surprised by the fact I have a child with Tuberous Sclerosis. That at the "ripe old age" of 24 my body had a genetic hiccup while Emmaus was being formed- and TS was the result. It just seems crazy to me.
And while TS is something I wish we didn't have to deal with, the lessons it has taught, the community it has gathered, I wouldn't give that up.
I considered my girl, somewhat trapped in her own body. Limited by her lack of speech yet, so aware of what she wants and needs. I considered how she has changed my perspective. How she has taken my overly competitive nature and shut it down. How she has taught me to not judge others on what appears to be, because we truly never know what is going on in someone else's life, or their home. She has taught me to be compassionate to those around me, to lend a helping hand whenever possible. To give to others generously, because so many times we have been on the receiving end.
I sat and prayed for her. For hope to be her story. For her life to be abundantly happy! For words to form freely and be expressed freely. For her to read and write.
In the chaos of my current life stage it is rare to have a completely quiet focused time. It was a sweet time to sit and reflect and just pray for her.