Momming Family Pictures

What it’s really like….I wanted to post a lovely family picture that shows off my sweet boys and my loving husband.  Our besties went camping this past weekend and we mamas planned on doing some quick family pictures just for fun so we’d have an updated picture.  Here’s how it turned out for the Finch Family, and this is literally as good as it gets of all four of us. 

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ONE decent picture of all of us together and it’s really not that great.
 

Most of them are like this. 


My favorite though, is this one.  This is real.  This is me telling my children that they need to give me one hour of their precious time to have a family picture that I can hang up on my wall.  This is my 12 year old smirking through the lecture and my 6 year old taking it way to personally.  This is my husband capturing what this mom is really like without apology. 

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Being a mom is hard.  Seriously, you’re molding real people here ladies.  As much as I’d have liked to smack that little smirk off that kid’s face, I know what being 12 is like, he thinks he is so smart and he is SO cool.  That smirk is actually his defense against being embarrassed in front of his friend by his mama. I feel bad that the little guy takes it so personally, I am loud, my husband is loud, you’d think he would be used to it, but he never will be and that is O.K.  So moms, (and dads, and people doing double duty) remember they are little humans.  Remember they just want to be connected to you and know they are loved. 

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What does God want from me?

I keep trying to figure this out. I am currently doing a bible study with some friends whom I’ve studied with before, but we’re having a hard time connecting.  The study is incredible.  It is called Entrusted by Beth Moore and I just love her so far.  Where I’m struggling the most is that my home is not filled with Christ.  My husband is not a believer, which is fine, I knew that of him when I met him, had a baby with him and married him.  I made that choice and I love him.  This is not questioning my love or devotion to him, this is a struggle with my own commitment to Christ while also being committed to my marriage.

Biblically, God wants me to submit to my husband. Using the whole passage here for context:

Ephesians 5:21-33

21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Here’s how I understand that before we get all fussy about it: Submission is compromise, a “pick your battles” kind of compromise.   I’ll be honest, my husband is an authority on certain things and I’m an authority on certain things and we rarely disagree on those things, but there is one thing that neither of us are an authority on and that is where I have issue with compromise and submission.

Submission is also a two-way street, as stated in the scripture, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” When he is not a believer, he can only submit to me with his free will. That is all I can ask for until God changes his heart.  In the meantime, I will surround myself with my faith and continue in his Word.  I will work on submitting to this man I’ve chosen and who has been chosen for me.

Final thought: My prayer for everyone is that God will give you a new heart!  Ezekiel 36:26 – I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you.  I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.

#Entrusted

Goals

When I make goals I write them down and figure out the what, why and how. I have a whole notebook of goals. Lots of them I attempted and failed. I make it a point to assess why I failed. This is my self critic. The one that says, “Well if you’d have gone out and actually knocked on doors, maybe you wouldn’t have lost the City Council election!”  “Perhaps if you hadn’t bought new clothes last month you’d have met your savings goals.”  Once my self critic is done talking, I let my self come out. She tries to not make excuses, rationalize failures or blame others but she does point out the barriers, explain the constraints and point out the players who maybe are not my allies.  These are my lessons learned. These are the things I take in to consideration when I set new goals. My self critic is not allowed in new goal creation. She is not a part of determining the what, why or how. Although sometimes I have to tell her to, She usually steps back and lets my self spread her wings, try new things and keep being a badass. 

What are some places where you let your self critic talk too much?

Stress

Stress makes me want to eat. I know that it doesn’t solve anything. In fact now it will break things. So how will I deal with it?  

Walking away from stress isn’t always an option.  My four year old just spent the last hour throwing a tantrum about not getting a piece of cheese before bed. I can’t walk away from him…he follows me. 
How do you deal with stress?

Resolutions

I don’t really do resolutions.  I just set myself up to fail.  Why?  Because if they were important enough to do I would just do them and not wait for a special day of the year to start them.  That’s just me though.

If you have a resolution, here’s what I would say you could do to stick to it:

  1.  Make sure it’s measurable.  You want to lose 100 pounds this year, well that’s 8.33 pounds per month, 1.92 pounds per week.  That’s an ambitious goal so make sure you measure it to keep yourself on track.
  2. Journal, blog, track, leave yourself post it notes.  But just do something to help you to remind yourself daily of your goal.  Goals are only goals if you’re actively working on them.
  3. Get yourself some support!  There’s a support group for everything.  There are social media groups for things you didn’t even know existed.  Look for them.  Find someone/someones to help keep you accountable.
  4. Have milestones and reassess them often.  Using the example above, if you don’t loose the first 1.92 pounds the first week, no big whoop, keep trying, but if the first two months go by and you’ve only lost 3 pounds, you might have to rethink your goal.  I’m not saying settle for mediocrity, but be realistic.

I wish you the best of luck.  It’s a tough road, regardless of your goal.

XOXO

Andrea

Perspective

I’m not entirely sure when my perspective changed.  I didn’t want to stop drinking soda, I didn’t want to diet, I didn’t want to exercise.  So today when I was walking over my lunch break I found myself exceeding my expectations.  Rather than saying, just one more block and then I’m done, I was thinking, this feels great I’m going to go go one more block, and then one more and then a whole mile more.  When I was eating lunch today, instead of thinking, “Ugh, pureed vegetable soup,” I thought, “I feel so good about putting this in my body, my temple.”  Some of the changes I’ve made are really hard changes.  Some of them have just naturally happened simply by the hard changes.

  • Quitting soda = Hard
  • Having more energy = Easy
  • Maintaining a 1000+ calorie deficiency = SO Hard
  • Enjoying Food as Fuel = Easy
  • Making myself take that first few walks = Hard
  • Reveling in the power of my body = Easy
  • Changing my relationship with food = Hard – still working on this
  • Accomplishing more than I expected = Easy

Losing weight is hard but it’s temporary.  I can’t just diet, I can’t just lose weight and exercise.  This is a change of my whole life.  I will never eat or move the same again or with the same purpose.  I’ve accepted and embraced it.  I’m happy about it. I deserve it.

E – Embrace Yourself

I realized this didn’t get posted.  POSTING!

Embracing yourself sounds pretty corny, but you’re you.  You can’t be anyone else.  Oh sure, you can reinvent yourself, you can move away and find new people, but the relationship with ourselves stays the same no matter where we live, where we work or who we are with.

I decided a long time ago that I want to be the person that I wished my friends were:

  • Fun
  • Energetic
  • Non-Judgemental
  • Helpful
  • Kind
  • Genuine

But then I realized something, I can’t change them and their positive qualities are their own and they don’t have to conform to what I think is a good friend.  So I decided to be a good friend and see what happened.  Then I reconnected with some ladies from high school.  Ugh, I’ll be real honest, I NEVER expected this to go anywhere.  One of the ladies’ daughters was babysitting for me and stopped over to chat with her daughter and we got to talking.  We’d talked at community events, but never made any real plans or anything.  Then we had lunch.  Then we had a girls night out.  Then, magically, I was part of the fold.  We all have different friends, but these core girls know my heart.  They were there when I grew up and they know everything about me.  What they don’t know, they ask and what they do know, they protect like their own hearts.  Everything I say is safe with them.  They are my tribe.

You might be thinking, what does this have to do with embracing yourself?  Well, it took this tribe for me to figure out who I was…really was.  I knew I was a mama.  I knew I was a wife, but I had no idea who I was as a woman until these ladies came along and challenged me to figure out that:

  • I realized that in order to be fun I had to be with people who appreciated my particular brand of silly.
  • To be energetic, I needed to take care of myself and get plenty of rest.
  • For me to not judge others, I had to stop judging myself so harshly.
  • Being helpful wasn’t hard when those in need of my help were so close to my heart.
  • Kindness was easier when I allowed myself to see that kindness was more rewarding than anything else.  Especially when I started being kinder to myself.
  • Genuineness (yes, it’s a word, I looked it up) is just that.  Knowing you don’t know everything, but having the grace and humility to offer yourself and your knowledge anyway.  Being real and sincere with everyone, not just those who deserve your genuineness (I just wanted to use it twice).

My family and friends might have other attributes or weaknesses to describe me, but these are the ones that I’m embracing in myself.  These are the qualities that I want those who love me to use when they describe me to someone else.