Tag Archives: Grit & Virtue

Pride & Surprise

What moments and milestones make you most proud? How did God surprise you? (Grit & Virtue)

Every morning, I drag myself into the daycare with Cookie in tow. Eyes still filled with sleep and a silent begging to the lottery gods, I open the door and plant the baby on the floor. I hand over bottles and baby food and ready myself for the next leg of my morning journey. On these mornings, body still aching for the bed, Mrs. J greets us with a smile and asks the rudimentary questions any caregiver should ask. Unsure of how this one morning turned, we got on the topic of my job which then turned into a conversation about me being a writer which steered into the direction of her being a writer too. She wanted to write a book, but was unsure of where to start. A children’s book, go figure. If anyone could, she most definitely should. You have to be sent from God to deal with a room full of slobbering, snotting, crying, peeing/pooping little humans day in and day out. “Hm, I have something for you,” I said. The next morning, I handed her the last (hard) copy of my book. She beamed and said she would read it over the Christmas break and return it when we came back. I waved her off and told her to keep it. It was just collecting dust in a drawer anyway.

There are many moments when I am proud. I am proud of The Boy and all of his accomplishments on the field and his heart off it. I am proud of The Girl and her resourcefulness and her ability to sincerely care for others. I am proud of Young Gun fighting through grief and sadness and still look to the brighter side. I am proud of my parents for still grinding and still giving. I am proud of everyone in my life who does. The only person I am ever, hardly proud of…is me. But this morning, a break in the clouds came and a little warmth buzzed in my belly. This morning, I was proud.

Today was unlike any other. I shuffled into the room, Cookie in hand, ready to just crawl back into bed. “Today I have a purpose!” Mrs. J exclaimed through a broad, gap-toothed smile. For the last few weeks, she has been throwing quotes my way. They are mine. My words. She uses the book/journal as her daily devotional. This morning’s message was to go back to the point in your life when you were doing something that made you happy, really, really happy. She did. She found it was writing. She proceeded to tell me in a rush of words that Today I AM was a blessing. It has helped her so much thus far and she loved it. I sheepishly nodded and smiled. “Great! That was the point. If it helped just one person…” I said with a smile. I kissed Cookie and waved good-bye, smiling to myself just a bit. How ‘bout that.

To actually hold the book in my hands was amazing enough. I had done it. I had taken everything I had gone through over the course of these last four years and managed to make a work of art. I left it on the shelf (literally and figuratively) for the better part of the year due to extenuating circumstances, but in the 11th hour, she appeared again. God surprised me, alright. He not only allowed me to accomplish a major goal, but He made the broken pieces more meaningful than I could have ever imagined. And, yet, He didn’t stop there. He used it all to help someone else become a better them. I shouldn’t be surprised by what He does. But I am.

In the wise words of The Anchorman, I am a glass case of emotion. Just under the surface, there is pride, gratitude, and praise. I am proud of my abilities. I am grateful He chose to use me. I am dancing on the inside thanking Him for loving me enough to put so much greatness in such an unworthy package. Won’t He do?

~Today I HAVE purpose…SM

Expecting The Unexpected

Which unexpected roadblocks [has] hindered your progress and productivity [last] year and how can you overcome them? (Grit & Virtue)

Roadblocks. They suck. A younger me had been partying with friends and a couple of us decided to go out for a drink run.  On our way to the grocery store, we saw the road washed in blue light. It was a roadblock. A huge mobile holding cell was on one side of the street and cops were crawling all over. I freaked out. They would know I had been drinking (at 20)  and I swore up and down they would drag me out of the car and throw me in the mobile cell and cart me away. My friend told me to calm down and shut up. Obviously, we made it through with no problems. The police officer barely looked in my direction. Had I continued to spazz out and look shifty, I am pretty sure he would have. That stupid roadblock suddenly killed any buzz–ever.

The little buzz of newlywed-dom and pregnancy was squashed on multiple occasions by way of roadblocks last year. For some of them, I had to tell myself to calm down and shut up. For others, I had to just power through. I am pretty sure I did not handle every hinderance correctly (actually, one, in particular, I am pretty sure I didn’t, but that is neither here nor there).

The important thing is that it was handled. The roadblocks themselves (at this point) are really not as important. The important take away here is that I/we overcame them…some way some how. Courage and strength prevailed, buzz killed or naw.

Unexpected stuff happens. It is indeed a thing. I think for a while things were going so well I had forgotten the unexpected was lurking like a creeper. I just flew by the seat of my pants and allowed my feet to be off the ground with a new relationship, job, financial security, and blah blah without giving a second thought to what might be standing in the way. Lesson learned…bigly.

While I couldn’t quite get my initial glow back from the informal hangout and Coronas, I was able to reset and still enjoy the rest of the evening. The same can be said for the glow of the good moments experienced recently. I am able, now, to reset and still enjoy what is left. Roadblocks and mobile jail cells will pop up every now and then. It won’t surprise me when it does. I will just stop, breathe, shut up and roll with it.

~SM

Finding Him In Reflection

My sister-in-love forwarded an email that gave me pause. The email was from a journal company (my weakness, besides planners) speaking on reflection of 2018 and moving forward toward 2019. I typically stay away from all of the new year’s resolution hubbub because it does not seem genuine (IMHO). If change is what a person is really after, they will tackle it any time. Why wait for January 1? Due to how 2018 started off and ended, I plan on being a ginormous hypocrite and being a part of the hubbub. And I think I will start with the email.

I am far from a heathen, but I must admit, God and I have been distant lately. My fault entirely. I allowed a lot of the important parts of my wellness to get swallowed up by other things happening around me, and my relationship with Him was one. When all else fails in my life, faith is the one constant saving me every time. Today, it has faltered and I have no doubt it is because I moved farther away from the source. When I read the email, it painfully reminded me of how far I have wandered. But, thank God for His mercy and grace. Even if I have wandered far from Home, He continues to keep the light on…just for me.

In order to find my way back Home, I have got to stop going in the other direction. I can’t front and say I haven’t been hiding. More and more I have been cutting my circle closer and closer, allowing it to dwindle down to nothing. I have been ducking my head and being passive because parts of me preferred not to even deal. But if I am going to take this upcoming journey and if I am going to get better, I have to turn around and open my eyes. Nothing is ever as scary as the thought of something. The real thing might be hard and a little intimidating, but it is the thought of it being something more than it is that creates hysteria. Instead of playing the scary-thought loop in my head, I need to uncover my eyes, about-face and stare it down.

For the next nine days, I will take a look back at these past twelve months and reflect on the wins. The bad stuff is easy to point out, but there was good. There was great. The first order of business in shrinking the scary is measuring it up against the good. God is in it all, but for me, it is easier to see Him and understand Him in the good. So, I will be intentional when I look back and reflect. I will seek understanding. I will seek goodness and light. I will search for Him in it all.

I can’t say I will be a completely different person when I reach the other side, but I can say that I will be on my way. There is no magic pill to finding your way. There are no ruby slippers to click or fantasy tornadoes whirling about to carry me Home. There is only courage and dirty work, and, if I have nothing else, I know I have the courage to put in the dirty work.

~SM