Finding Yourself

When Comparison and Covid Strike

I feel like I’m floundering right now. Not only has our world turned into a germ house of fear but life in general has me wondering what in Creation I’m doing and where I’m headed.

I don’t know what all you’ve been facing personally over the past few weeks but I’m sure it’s not at all what you thought your March would look like.

I’m struggling to make sense of it all just the same as everyone else.

I’m also realizing that as an introvert, my life has not been totally turned upside down AND I have a legitimate excuse for staying home and doing things I love. I also realize how much it means to be included in other’s lives and how we need each other!

At the same time, my family and I are moving into a fixer upper that is not totally finished. One we’ve been working on for months. I feel like I’ve lived in dust and painted hair and hands and work clothes all 2020. Through a series of events, we have had a rather unusual and often crazy past year in life and just this weekend, when everyone was posting pictures of home creations and quality time and toilet paper, I was trying to find my way through piles of boxes, weary to the bone form hauling totes and belongings and keeping up with a two year old, misplacing everything and making sure no one in our small family starved but DID take their probiotics.

It feels so very very good to have a house again after selling ours last spring and living in a camper and house sitting for the past (almost) year. While both those options were valuable experiences and a good fit for the present, there is nothing quite like having your own spaces and rooms and knowing that your kids won’t wake the neighbors at 4:30 AM or spill food on carpets or break things that aren’t yours.

Change can make anybody feel vulnerable and the threat of sickness and financial issues and unknown futures can cause stress to shoot through the roof!

If you are feeling alone or distant or just plain lonely right now, please know that you really truly are not alone no matter how trite that may sound.

You’re value is not based on your performance or how smoothly you’re homeschooling is going or how brave a face you are putting on. Life is just plain HARD sometimes and comparing yourself with others …nope! Don’t go there.

I don’t know if you are anything like me…but I love to surround myself with people who are better at things then I am. Ladies I admire. Powerful strong ladies who know who they are and what they have to share with the world. Ladies who have a voice and use it to build others up and bring awareness and peace and empowerment to others.

Here’s the deal though. I can feel super intimidated by people I admire. I can pull out my comparison cards in two blinks of an eye and before I know it, I’m wallowing in self thoughts that are literally tearing me down.

It’s what I call self sabotaging at its finest.

Part of my journey has been learning to accept my past and present and embracing the fact that I have self worth.

Being flexible is important in life. Being a puppet is not. I have danced to others ideas in so many ways but even more destructive is the inner critic that is my own voice, tearing myself down.

Right now, when there is extra stress and all the world is thrown a bit off balance, it’s even easier to find ourselves, as humans, groping for a normal and questioning everything including who we are and what we are doing right this moment and for what purpose. It’s easy to judge ourselves harshly, judge our kids and those we love most, and allow the whole tide of comparison to rush in and take our breathe away.

Ground yourself friend.

Know that you are an incredible human with incredible strength.

Your life. Your quarantine. Your kids. None of these will look like every one else’s . It may, in fact look like no one you know. But that doesn’t mean you are weak or weird or less then.

Embrace the hard and the easy and know that nothing lasts forever. That change is good. That growth happens and that you don’t have to look or act or do like everyone else in order to have worth or be accepted.

It’s ok to feel confused and a little teary and emotionally off balance. It’s ok to need to sleep a bit more or eat some comfort food and wrap yourself in a big hug.

Stay home and love your family. Love the Divine. But don’t forget to love yourself also. Love who you are becoming. Love that you get to live in this story that will become history. Love that you can make a difference simply in being a good human. Love the YOU that is living and breathing and moving right now. And let that acceptance and love overflow into those right beside you today!

We won’t let coronavirus take our confidence. We are not in control of anything in life except ourselves and that’s the part that we can do well…no matter what comes our way!!

Special Kids

A lesson in Comparison and Special Needs Travel

I used to really wonder which child would be more work. Kierra, who can do nothing for herself so needs constant supervision although she is stationary.

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Or Kobe, who whirls through the house and leaves toys flung far and wide  and opens hot oven doors because he just can’t WAIT for his beloved favorite cake.

I woke to the conclusion that as with all other things in life, it is foolish to compare. Each child stands alone in ones own unique personality. Forget the thoughts of ‘he does this, so why can’t she do this?’ or ‘if he would only be tempered a little more like her…’ My kids are each their own very unique personalities, just as my husband and I have our own unique makeup.

I don’t think God meant to make carbon copies. Even in families.  I want to fling my arms and heart wide open and embrace the differences of those around me. Take joy in the brightness and accept the shadows that come with all relationships. ( really, even newborns bring those shadowy 2 AM feedings with them)

When we packed for our 11 day trip to Montana, I knew there would be alot of ‘stuff’.  Traveling with a special needs child literally means moving mountains 🙂 Honestly. I remember staring in nearly rude shock when my In Laws and their two little girls came to visit for a weekend. Each had a small enough suitcase that they didn’t have to check even ONE bag through their flights.

I always realize the huge difference between my kids when we pack up to travel. Kobe needs all the regular little boy things. Changes of clothing, pull ups, coat and mittens and boots, a few toys, a teddy bear, and his wonderful snacks along with his favorite ‘bo bo’ cup.

I finally made a check list of Kierra’s things. The hard part is remembering to stick everything in again that you pulled out of the already packed van because you forgot you would need it one more time 🙂

So if you ever wondered why going away is such a huge chore for folks with special needs…here’s a peek. This is our baggage for one night at a hotel room on our trip. Can you imagine what all else is still in the van 😉

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Staying home looks pretty attractive sometimes:) but then again, getting out and enjoying a change of pace and scenery is nearly always worth it.

It’s not just her clunky oxygen machine that needs to be hauled around, it’s making sure all the back up tanks are full for the travel time. It’s thirty three cans of formula (plus the backup cans for emergencies 🙂 and feeding bags and pampers and wipes and chux pads for accidents. It’s power cords and extension cords (because some motels really have the craziest placed insufficient outlets)  and feeding pump, and IV pole and Pulse Oximeter machine and the back up Suction machine. It’s extra nasal canula, and rolls of tape in every available handy spot and the spare miKey tube and  syringes and extensions and drainage sponges. Then there’s the standard clothing and the coat and the socks.  A whole bag of blankets and pillows for  props so she can sleep comfortably. Not to mention the air mattress that works great for night time and is fairly compact. We can’t forget her meds! All 12 bottles ,or is it 14? And  the container for mixing her formula and the empty bottles to store it in. That ever present roll of paper towels that we use right now for choky episodes. Her nebulizer and vials of medication that go with that.

We throw in handfuls of extra EVERYTHING just because we want to be safe. Even a folder of medical records.

So after we have her all loaded, we have had our work out for the day :0)

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Is there room for me ?:)

The not so great thing is that in some situations you have to do the thing you hate to do… Put a two year old in the front passengers seat.

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Kobe thought he was living the good life! hanging out with Daddy, looking out that big front window…he wanted to pretend to be sleeping for this picture, so i humored him:)

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Thankfully, Kierra travels well usually, but on the way home, she was fighting a cold. I feel better being right beside her to help her if she chokes, or sneezes instead of constantly diving back over the seat and hanging upside down for long periods of time. or missing that tiny window of ‘grab the chokey mucus’ altogether.

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So back to this comparing thing again. How does one compare a lively little boy with a cracker crumb cushioned seat and the cutest expressions about ‘mountains’ and ‘big trucks’ and ‘juice please’ and ‘i need to pee’ and bored fussing noises with this?

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Now you see… it’s not really comparable. They are each darling creations of our Creator with their own sweetness and of course their own not so sweet moments! As different as day and night and as alike as two cuddle bugs.By the way, if it’s not comparable for these two sweethearts…why would it be for anyone else on earth ? 🙂

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Embrace those around you today for exactly the way they are. Sweetness. Hard work. Grouchies. Funniness. Thank God that they are alive and you have the privilege of loving them up.

And while I’m on the subject of loving, i need to brag a bit about my husband :0)

Six years of marriage. Two kids. 7 houses. Cross country move. 3+ jobs. Lots of stress. A wife that can be really —-_ 🙂 And he still surprises me and loves me and believes the best in me through the sunshine and shadows.

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The fragrance of true love. I am so blessed!