caroline and desta

Meeting at the mat

I’ve been spending more time on my mat lately.  The time to sit quietly, balance, strengthen my body without running has been good for my soul.  Soul tending I call it.

Today I was able to fit a 90 minute class in.  That is a long time alone with your breath and balance.  It is hard, actually very hard, to live moment by moment for 90 minutes in this world of second by second living.

My intention was simple today: Be present for each breath.  Don’t think about the past, don’t worry about the future.  Let your body be in the moment, the present.  Breath by breath.

During savasana, my mind went to Desta.

Sometimes it takes 90 minutes of silence to get to the important things in our hearts and minds.  I found this to be true today.

caroline and destaDesta is high pace, high volume and high need.  The days can be long and my patience flees.

I find myself doing one of two things: fleeing the scene, allowing her to fester in her own self destruction of temper flare ups OR getting angry that I can’t fix it.  My voice rises and I don’t speak words of life.  Instead I find myself frustrated and weary.

Today I had a very clear image of Desta sitting quietly, asking me to just love her.  Just as she was.  Every.Single.Time.

20140911_170741_AndroidThis is what struck me: I have to be her stop gap. I have to surround her with love, over and over and over again.  She doesn’t have the tools yet, to know that she needs to be quiet. She doesn’t know that a bath will calm her scattered vestibular system.  She is unable to recognize chaos and how to calm.

That is my job.  I am supposed to protect and help her. I’m supposed to be present, every.single.time.  I am supposed to give her the tools to help her.

This week I’m committed to being present with Desta.  I will lose my temper. I will get weary. I will fail. I also know that I’m it; I’m her Mama.  I asked for this job and was given this job.  It’s an honor and privilege.

Thank you, mat, for helping me see something right before me.  I’ve learned again, the lesson of quiet peace.  It is during this time that I see the important things in life.

Friday List


I’m a list kind of gal.

Here’s what’s been on my radar this week, list form:

This salad has rocked our world here.  Peaches, basil syrup yum.

Two out of five are now officially gluten free in this house.  This granola makes anything takes like dessert.

This blogger has the BEST Friday lists.  Every.single.week.

This conference blew my socks off last year. Orphan care, adoption, fellowship.  You should go.  Boulder in October. Win/Win!

Athleta has become my new favorite store. Their clearance section combined with free shipping is a win/win.  These are my new favorite running tights.

I’m a sucker for pumpkin and caramel.  These candles are amazing and currently 2 for $22.

This article, as a mom, wow, all wrapped up in emotion.

I finally broke down and purchased this show.  Can’t.Stop.Watching.Homeland.

My kids have been sucked into this song.  I’m learning how to make a Trucker’s Hitch.

Remember #BringBackOurGirls?  They aren’t home yet.



Overestimate, underestimate

“We overestimate what we can do in one year and underestimate what we can do in five years.”

Kelly Williams, pastor of Vanguard Church, told that to Matt and me several years ago.  We were in the middle of the LONG adoption process for Desta. The timeline seemed endless and frankly we were really discouraged. destaIt’s been 5 years since we brought our Gracey girl home.  Five years since this little 8 lb, 5 month old was placed in our arms.  She was so sick she hardly made a peep.  She just wanted to eat and eat and eat.

That first year home with her was filled with round the clock feedings, doctor’s visits, and a whole lot of growing.  Matt and I were thrown headlong into sleepless nights again.  We had two other kids who were adjusting to a new sibling.

That first year was filled with a lot of overestimation’s.

Five year’s hindsight and I’m amazed at how much we’ve done.  We had no idea how our family would change these past five years.

We’ve moved to Florida, lived there for 2 years and back to Colorado for 3.  Our kids were in Elementary and preschool.  Now we have a teenager (almost), elementary kiddo and a kindergartner. familyI entered the workforce; finally finding a place at Biblica that I love.  Matt has changed jobs three times. At that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

When you begin to look at your year with doubt and frustration, think of that phrase above.

Don’t underestimate what you can do in 5 years.  And cut yourself some slack for what needs to done this year.


My Links this week

Sometimes at night I want to read snippets of things but frankly don’t have the energy to figure out what types of words I need to put in the search engine.

Yes, I should just go to bed but I don’t.

So here are a few links I’ve enjoyed viewing this week.

  • This mama of 12 writes real; she doesn’t keep the hard stuff hidden.  One Thankful Mom - This blog post has made me stop and think about how to add more joy and life into our home.

“Sloppy parenting quickly results in subpar behavior.”

That line, oh that line has made me wince and stop a few times this week.  Go here and read it!

  • I like to eat.  And I love to travel. This post combines those two things. Take a tour around the world and see what others eat for breakfast.  Some of the meals I’d be all over. Others look like a gluten attack waiting to happen!

06 - Brazil

  • Kari Jobe is my new favorite singer. I listened to her entire album, Majestic, during a trail run this week.  It was exactly what my soul needed.  This song, I Am Not Alone, has spoken my life’s verse in such beauty.  Is. 43.  WE ARE NOT ALONE!

  • The weather has turned cold. (I’m not ready for summer to end yet Colorado!)  We made caramel corn and drizzled in chocolate because sometimes sugar is important.  (Just make sure you don’t watch this before you make this popcorn!)

Stovetop Caramel Corn

  • Kristin Armstrong always has a nugget to mull over. This post, this post got me.  “There is a vast difference between giving up and letting go.” It’s a good one.  Read it.
  • I love NPR, particularly the Morning Edition.  Today I heard this fascinating piece on a  discovery from the Franklin Expedition, which went missing 169 years ago while searching for the Northwest passage. Steve Inskeep talks to Paul Watson, a Toronto Star columnist.  Go here to hear the piece.  Pretty cool stuff.  20140906_090811_Android
  • Tobin and I did the Color Run last weekend.  We had so much fun.  If this run is in your area, go.  It is well worth the money for the laughter and mess alone!

Parenting is Hard Work

I recently was listening a talk on Stitcher.  This app is a compilation of all the podcasts you’ve ever wanted to hear – free.

The speaker summarized parenting in four categories.

Ages 0-5:  Disciplinarian
Ages 6-12:  Teacher
Ages 13-18: Coach
Ages: 19+:  Friend

These simple categories have transformed my parenting perspective.  We currently are managing three of the four categories.  Once I figured out my job for each kid, I’ve been learning how to talk with them, engage them and do life with them.

For our youngest, we are still in that disciplinarian stage.  Take this morning for instance.  We’ve allowed a lot to slide but disrespect and disobedience are non negotiables.  From the moment Desta woke up at 6 am (She didn’t fall asleep until almost 9:30 last night!) she was a crankypants.  Everything was LOUD, VOCAL and IN MY FACE.  I finally pulled the tv card — only non digital play today.

Discipline is not fun.  This has not been a quiet morning.  She is not happy with her consequences and we are all suffering for it.

20140831_122512_AndroidWith our second born, we are heavy in the instruction phase. Yesterday it was a 20 minute lesson on why the dog needs to be walked and why responding with anything other than, “Yes Mom” is not an option.  Tobin has been learning how to make a bed properly–and it does not involve merely pulling up the covers and calling it a day. Teaching is tiring.  VERY tiring.

There are days that I feel like I am teaching the same thing over and over again.

Early this morning I opened my Bible to Proverbs 6.  Just like that I have the verses that Tobin and I will be memorizing.

“My son, keep your father’s command
    and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
Bind them always on your heart;
    fasten them around your neck.
When you walk, they will guide you;
    when you sleep, they will watch over you;
    when you awake, they will speak to you.
For this command is a lamp,
    this teaching is a light,
and correction and instruction
    are the way to life.”

As for our oldest and coaching–while the conversations are hard and the reality of life is challenging to navigate, this is by far my most favorite season right now.  It has been so rewarding to see Caroline make decisions based on what we’ve taught her these past many years.  She is making wise choices; albeit hard ones.

20140906_115524_AndroidMatt and I have a few goals for our family.  One of the main goals is this:  Be intentional now to create long term, relationships with our kids as adult friends.

To reach this goal requires intentional parenting.  It’s not easy, it’s actually exhausting and sometimes you just want a break BUT with a goal in site, we’ve got a race to run!