Monkey See Monkey Do

We may all be familiar with the saying monkey see, monkey do. Meaning some, most of us, emulate the behavior we see around us. Particularly if the person we are mimicking has a strong personality or authority over us.

This is never more true than with children. Every single day kids are acting like the people around them. Trying to figure out how to be in different situations. I think this is the most scary thing about parenting.

I know that I have some really great qualities. I also know I have some pretty great flaws. Like my temper (0-100 in about 3 seconds), the way I handle stress (I like to avoid it and tend to hide out with my shows) and my obsessiveness (once I start something it needs to be finished). I see all three of these things in my kids. My oldest is a snapper like me. The middle one is obsessive and my youngest is a teller too.

So those three little monkeys are my warning. I desire nothing but the best for my kids and that they would learn from me that things could be done differently. That we don’t have to always take every characteristic, good or bad, and mimic.

It’s hard to overcome what we observe and take into ourselves. But we can take steps to analyze ourselves and change the course of our direction with accountability and grace.




It’s been a long time since my last post. As in months. Just like riding a bike, some things have stayed with me. Like a need to tell my story. And friends who won’t let me forget that I have a story to tell. Also, I hit the half way point in my thirties last week and that gave me some things on which to look back.

So I’m back. And with me is that old nagging sensation of fear. I’ve learned a few things about fear. I know it has no place here. If I choose to walk in victory, then fear will flee. I’ve also learned that naming the fear makes it smaller.

For my first blog post in a long while, I’m gonna list the reasons I’m afraid to write and share my thoughts. Maybe knowing I have fears will help you face yours.

1. What if someone else has the same thing to say and they say it better?

2. What if no one cares?

3. What if someone cares a lot on the opposite end of the spectrum from me? And then they tell me?

4. What if I disappoint someone?

5. What if I stop again?

Those are the big five. So they’re out there for everyone to see. And I’m punching them in the face.

See you next time


Questions needing Answers

Screen-shot-2012-07-30-at-10.38.35-AMOur oldest is just a few month shy of ten. He is an observer. Taking in the situation before he jumps on board. These past few months he has been jumping into the conversation with my husband and I. Noticing and picking up on things that we hadn’t needed to address until now. One of those questions I was asked in the car was, “Why don’t you and daddy get along?”

That little missive hit me right in the gut. I will be the first to admit that I can be a big time cranky pants. Especially at home. And the last year in particular has been difficult. I don’t hide my feelings. They are all out there. If I’m sad, I’ll cry. If I am mad, I yell. If I think something is funny, I will laugh. One of the primary emotions I have had for the last year is annoyance. Annoyance that I had to take care of other people. There was a lot to take care of in myself. I know that seems terribly selfish. But when I was in the throes of depression and processing deep hurts, I didn’t have a lot of energy to focus on my husband or kids.

These are things I am making better now. But, obviously, marks have been made. If my nine year old son can pick up on the fact I don’t have a lot of patience for my husband who has been nothing but generous and sweet and loving thru all of this emotional upheaval, than the effects of my processing have been noticed. My son’s question made a place for a conversation to be had. I calmly explained that it has been hard for mommy to be happy and just laugh off teasing. That there is a place of sadness inside of me that makes it difficult for me to just have fun.

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My son’s question has made me think about my own responses. I absolutely believe my home and family is the place I am safest to be upset. But I have seen that my responses to my processing were causing harm to our family. So now I take a pause. I go clean a bathroom or make something for dinner that has onions so I can have a good cry. It is not ok for me to take my bad day out on the members of my family.

You know what, all of this is ok. Because I have been honest about my feelings and didn’t stuff them inside, I have been able to allow my kids to have feelings to. I’m not saying we are a family of Godzilla’s rampaging over the city of each other’s emotions (although if you come over at four o’clock in the afternoon it might seem that way to the outside observer), but there is space in our home for people to be upset. There is room for someone to slam a door and take some time to cool down.  There are also places for I’m sorry and I forgive you to be said. We have to learn about constructive and harmful ways to process our emotions, because if we don’t know the difference it will hurt others. While it’s ok to be upset, it is NOT ok to hurt others to make ourselves feel better. These are the lessons we’ve been learning at home.





Feel it to heal it.

I was listening to Pandora a week or so. Music has always spoken to me. It often evokes deep emotions in me. Because that’s what music is for, is it not? Music speaks for our souls when we don’t have the words to say.
These are the words I wrote down to remember. They are in my phone for when I need a reminder.
Songs lyrics
It ain’t over til God says it is. Don’t stop fighting until the victory is won. That can come in a couple different ways.

God is with me and He is for me.

We are promised to be more than conquerors and that we will be victorious thru the blood that was shed on the cross. No problem is bigger than a three day dead Jesus.

Not even my pain or doubt is bigger than Gods love for me.

He doesn’t care for me because of what I do or how well I obey. But because he loves me.
This last one has been the biggest comfort to me. It’s not about what I do. Or say or act. God loves me because He is loving. I can stop striving to “be” a certain way. This is how lavish Gods love for me is. The love is always there even when I don’t feel it. But He constantly extends it thru His people and thru Himself. This is what sustains me. Gods love is my portion and sustenance in what seems like an emotional season of famine.

Thank-you Jesus for your great waves of love that you have let wash over me these last two weeks. I hold on to You and Your Word.


It’s hard

Random tidbit: I’ve been eating gluten-free for about a month now. And it really helps with how I feel. What we eat affects us.

It’s hard right now. It’s hard to do a lot of things. It’s hard to admit things are hard. Because more than anything, I don’t like to admit defeat. I never saw myself as a go-getter, as a scraper. But I’m finding I am. But that I fight about what doesn’t matter. And I try to keep things close that should be let go.

So here is my confession of what’s hard.

It’s hard to get up and exercise. Because I would rather eat brownies for breakfast and sleep in.

It’s hard to be gracious with strangers because I have so much of my own hurt and pain, I can’t see theirs.

It’s hard to parent fairly because I have little to no resources for my sweet little cherubs because most of my emotional energy is being spent working on my issues.

It’s hard to be kind to my husband, because I can’t even be kind to myself.

It’s hard to go to church because I always seem to be the one crying in the pew during the worship songs.

It’s hard to sing worship songs because I have doubt about my faith.

It’s hard to admit I have doubt about my faith in God.

It’s hard to say I have depression.

It’s hard to think I might need to be on medication for my depression.

It’s hard to keep explaining why things are hard.




A skein of yarn

Random quote: “Even the biggest ball of twine unwinds.” –Jewish Proverb


If you knew me beyond this blog you would know that crafts and I go together like oil and water. Maybe we can get put in the same ‘glass’, and you can shake us up to mix, but after a few minutes we separate and agree that we really don’t mix for any length of time. But when I saw that Jewish proverb on Facebook, it struck a chord with me.

“Even the biggest ball of twine unwinds.” –Jewish Proverb


My ball of twine, skein of yarn, spool of thread is unwinding. Sometimes so slowly I don’t realize until after the bit has been removed, sometimes so rapidly I can barely catch my breath. This tightly wound thread that is my life is unraveling from my hands. And as much as I fight to keep the thread all jumbled up together in a messy ball of jumbled colors and broken threads, it’s being pulled inch by inch away from me. And I can’t keep it together anymore.

So those that love me are stepping in to help. And the God that loves me and knows me, but still feels so distant to me right now is showing me He cares about me too. He doesn’t just care about me, He loves me.  That this work of pulling the threads of my life that might be broken or faded and replacing them with the bright and vibrant colors of thread that is His truth is worth it.

I have to keep telling myself that, because sometimes I think the work is to hard. And I scramble to gather up the little scraps and pieces of my life that have been so gently pulled away from me in an effort to get back to where things were ‘normal’.  But once I learn truth, I have to give up the lies. Because lies and truth can’t live together, can they? And my sense of normal is skewed right now. What is normal anyways?

So this is where I am. Standing in a pile of mismatched and broken threads. Surrounded by the scraps from a life I’ve been trying to piece together in the dark. Now that I’m starting to see things in the light of God’s truth, I’m asking for help to make this tapestry into something beautiful. But first, it needs to come apart so the damaged parts can be removed and they can be replaced with His healing.



Missing out

Random tidbit: I love to read. The end.

Back in junior high school I used to be an introvert. I was very content to just keep my head down and read my book. I liked to fly below the radar. If you knew me now, you might find that hard to believe. As I tend to be loud and obnoxious (to some).

I love to be at a party or throw a party. I like to be involved in activities that put me up front. I can walk into a group of strangers and come out with a friend. I am a people person who would commit myself to doing something every day of the week.

But sometimes, especially lately, I need time to reflect. And I get worn out from the constant go. I find myself holding back instead of jumping in to whatever is going on. This is a season where I am holding tight to my family and close friends.

I still feel like I’m missing out on something. The pull of being out there in the spotlight is strong. Like I am missing a part of myself when others can’t see me up front. Will people forget about me if I’m not at every activity? Maybe they will. If I’m not involved in every opportunity to serve or be in charge do I still matter?

The answer is yes. I still matter. I still have worth. It is not my level of activity that makes me important. It is not being a leader or up front that gives me worth. It is in my Creator and God where I find worth. This is what I constantly need to remember. Where my focus should lie is on my Jesus.