Tag Archives: life lessons

*Poof* Out of nowhere

The kids are both in a phase right now where they’re literally amazing us every single day.

It’s like they wake up and think… what new thing can I get up to today?

Levi spouts out new words as if he’s always said them.

“Oh, it’s windy!” he said the other day when we got out of the car.

All I could do is look at him and say, “yes, yes it is windy.”

We didn’t teach him that word – at least not in the repeat-after-me-I’ll-name-it-for-you kind of teaching.

He just learned it by picking it up.

A small example, but every day now he says many, many things along these same lines.

Seeing that little brain just explode with information and vocabulary is seriously awesome to me.

Not to mention potty training. By two hours into it he was already telling us when he had to go. And after the first two days he was waking dry from naps. And this morning (day five) he woke dry from overnight.

Hello, we aren’t even training him for overnight yet. We’ve kept him in diapers at night! Obviously he’s training himself. Smart cookie.

And Judah’s the same.

All of a sudden today he just stood up on his own and stayed there for seconds before falling. He didn’t pull himself up on anything, didn’t have assistance, he just stood.

At eight months old (yesterday) he’s seriously freaking me out the way he’s determined to move along. No doubt he’ll be an early walker.

And I guess that’s the thing with milestones. There’s all this developmental work in the background that’s going on that you can’t see… and then one day *poof* – it’s as if their skill emerges out of nowhere.

I wonder how much of that we lose as adults, obsessed with finding the quickest solutions and shortest routes to success. We want to skip straight to the results and rarely give time to work hard and build behind the scenes where no one can see us or where there’s nothing to show for our hard work and investment.

Or maybe that’s just me?

In any case, I’m completely astounded with my ambitious little boys at the moment.

They are so entertaining. And so fun to watch and learn from.

STOP.

 

Q for you: When’s the last time you witnessed a skill emerging from what seemed like thin air? (In an adult or a child.)

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited

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Dread. Don’t do it.

Dread is a sneaky kind of fear that robs you.

It doesn’t exactly feel like fear, because there’s not that ‘afraid’ aspect to it.

But don’t be fooled, the dragging-your-feet-expecting-the-worst is a type of fear no doubt.

Recently I tackled something that I had been dreading.

For months I had imagined it. Loathed it. Resisted it. Put it off.

And then finally, I did it.

To my surprise it was much, much easier than I had expected.

(Yes, I’m talking about potty training Levi here. But that’s not the point.)

The thing is, I had built it up into this momumental task in my head – something to be entered upon almost as a martyr… surrendering myself to the cause.

I put on my mom boots and got to work.

And found it to be…

Easy.

And… even fun. (*gasp*)

So all of those months spent dreading and procrastinating? I now realize those were moments wasted, robbed by a mundane sort of fear that never should have been there in the first place.

And I see this to be true in other areas where I’ve “dreaded” before.

So here’s the thing about dread: don’t do it.

It’s just not worth it.

STOP.

 

Q for you: What have you been dreading lately?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


We play our songs

Our son has been smitten over music since the moment he was born.

I can’t even remember exactly when we first noticed his love of music because it was always there.

He’s obsessed with the guitar. He loves the xylophone. Drums? Of course. Harmonica? Yup.

And this kid has moves – he looooves to dance. He feels it too – his dancing changes very much with different types of music. (We adore putting on slow music and watching him attempt a two-year-old interpretation of ballet. Love.)

Today we were playing guitar together – me on my guitar, him on his.

Judah sat a few feet away playing with toys and I sat across from Levi with the guitar on my lap and a kids song book out before me (expanding my song bank – ha!). Levi climbed all over me, clawing at the guitar, smashing into my case, stepping on my book. It was a total circus. And I wasn’t very much enjoying it.

I wanted to play a few songs together and sing “Puff the Magic Dragon” and see my boy pick up his own guitar and dance around the room like he usually does.

He wanted to play a few songs together too. It’s just that his definition of “play” looked very different to my own.

I finally gave up, put the song book away, and just let him have at the strings while I played some chords on the neck.

It was pretty terrible sounding, but of course he loved it.

Made me wonder how God feels when we’re “helping” him. We get in there and try to do it our way. We “play our songs” which often sound nothing like his.

And yet he loves it all anyway. He loves that we have a go. He loves that we want to participate.

He loves that we want to play a song with him.

I’ll try to remember that when Levi wants to “play” again.

STOP.

 

Q for you: What kind of songs have you been playing lately?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Where’s this pain coming from, really?

For days I walked around, gritting my teeth. Not meaning to, but as a reaction to the pain.

I just could not shake the headache. Not by drinking gallons of water, not by sleeping, not by popping pills, not by a shoulder and neck rub.

Nothing seemed to help.

It was so bad that one night it even kept me from falling asleep. (Doesn’t pain generally do the opposite?)

And then I realized…

Wait, this has happened to me before.

My contacts were in the wrong eyes.

Soemtime last week I must have put them in the wrong side of the case and have been wearing them backwards ever since.

I can still see okay. My perscription from eye to eye doesn’t differ enough to be overt. But the eye strain is obvious in the thump, thump, thump in my forehead and behind my eyes.

I throw them out, start with a new pair.

And I wonder how many times I do this in other areas of my life:

How many times do I make a small change – one hardly noticable – that affects so much?

How many times has one wrong decision brought so much discomfort?

How many times do I carry around hurt, trying to ignore it and hoping it will go away when really it just needs to be dealt with?

How many times do I just need to remove the problem and start with a fresh perspective?

How many times do I simply need to stop and ask where is this pain coming from, really?

STOP.

 

Q for you: How’s  your “vision”?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Why talking about money is fun, not boring

No one likes to talk about money.

At least not on a personal level.

We talk about investments and the economy and “out there” stuff, but most like to keep talk of their personal paychecks private.

Today I wrote a post about finances for another blog that’s soon to launch (where I’ve been asked to be a regular contributor – more about that soon). And, although I usually think the topic of finance is a little boring…

I was totally into it.

I mean, like really, really diggin it.

Because when you know God, and are connected to him, it becomes not just about numbers in a bank account or dollars in your pocket, it becomes about understanding him and his ways. (And, oh how I love knowing him and his ways!)

There’s a verse in Luke that talks about how he provides for the ravens and how much “more valuable” we are than them.

And that’s it! That’s the key!

God provides for us because we’re worth it. We’re worth it.

Did you catch that? Cuz it goes for you too.

He also provides for us because that’s who he is – our Provider. Capital P. That’s what he does. He can’t not be himself.

Money can be a difficult thing – when it rules us, when it seems we are in lack, when it’s squandered, when we idolize it, etc. But it can also be a really beautiful thing.

Jesus never shied away from talking about money.

So why do we?

We need it. We want it. We can even use it as a tool to worship him and bless others.

I’m so glad he thinks I’m worth it.

STOP.

Q for you: Do you struggle with talking about money? Did you know that God thinks you’re worth it?

Love,
A

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Pep talk

I don’t get scared easily.

To be honest, I’ve never struggled much with fear.

But right now? I’m terrified.

An opportunity lays before me that I want to take. So much.

But I also want to run the opposite direction. R-u-n.

All of a sudden these ugly visitors rise to the surface: fear of failure, fear of inadequacy, fear of being out of my depth, fear of rejection, fear of blowing it.

I “make my living” helping people to understand how awesome they are, but now all of a sudden I’m cowering.

I need to take some of my advice:

Face your fears.

Take a risk.

Be willing to fail.

Have faith.

Don’t over think things.

Let go of perfectionism.

Believe in yourself.

Trust God.

An opportunity is just that – an opportunity. It’s up to me whether I embrace it or blow it off.

I’m gonna choose to embrace it, perhaps with a little trembling… but embrace it nonetheless.

Eeek!

STOP.

 

Q for you: When’s the last time you faced one of your fears?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Quit stalling and get ‘er done

Do you ever avoid things you know you’re “supposed” to do?

No, of course you don’t.

Well, I must admit… I do sometimes.

But then there’s this one thing that happens when I do that other thing I was supposed to do but was dreading…

I feel glad.

Relieved.

Free to move on.

Funny how that works, huh?

How the thing that causes dread can turn into the thing that causes all those warm fuzzy feelings of *phew* and *sigh* and *ahhhhh* and oh-my-this-is-good?

That’s really all I have to say tonight.

Are you trekking? Hello?

Maybe there’s something that you’ve been putting off… and the day to call it quits on the putting off business is today.

Maybe?

(You’re call, not mine.)

For me, I’m resting easy tonight. My “should do” thing is done and I’m breathing easy.

STOP. (BAM, 3 minutes tonight, baby! Oh, it feels good!!)

 

Q for you: Is there something you’ve been putting off that you need to attend to?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Rejected, again.

I love my son so much.

The cliche rings true – I’d give anything, do anything for him.

I spend my days considering him, caring for him, providing for him, nurturing him, teaching him. Basically giving him everything I can so that he will know he’s loved and valued and respected and know that life is good.

So days like today, when I go into his room after a nap and he immediately melts into a raging fit becuase I’m not daddy? That’s kind of a kick in teh gut.

Because son, don’t you know how much I love you? How much I give you? How much of my very being is wrapped up in being your parent? Don’t you know I give almost 24/7 of time and energy for you???

It’s tough. Giving so much only to be met with rejection.

And it makes me think of Father God.

How much does he love? Give? Sacrifice? Provide? Teach? Guide? Care? Invest?

Over and over again he gives himself to us.

And yet over and over again he is rejected, or ignored, or simply counted as second priority (or third or fourth or…).

How much of my actions and choices must sadden him? The one who loves me so completely and yet demands nothing in response.

And today I choose to think about him and acknowledge his love for me, of which I’m still learning so much about.

Thanks Levi, for helping me to remember how amazing Jesus is. (And maybe you could htink about being a little nicer toward your mama tomorrow?)

*sigh* Toddlers.

STOP.

 

Q for you: We all know how much it hurts to be rejected. Are you wallowing in rejection right now? Or are you choosing to not let it dictate your life or rob you of your joy?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited.
Adriel also writes (using spell check!) on motherhood and parenting at The Mommyhood Memos


Selfishness, make haste!

While skyping with Ryan tonight he told Levi “two more sleeps” until he comes home. I corrected him saying it was actually three sleeps since Levi will be in bed hours before Ryan flies in at 10:40pm on Sunday night.

Ryan then suggested that he might just wake Levi up to say hello when he gets in.

Immediately I chided, “oh no you won’t! I haven’t slept in two weeks!” (Camping being the week before. And truthfully, I haven’t really slept in six weeks. Or six months. But whatever, not the point.)

It didn’t occur to me until after I hung up that my response was incredibly selfish.

We’re now finishing day six of being on our own and I’m swinging between feeling like supermom and feeling very “alone” and a little sorry for myself. (My response was driven from that second extreme, obviously.)

In many ways it’s not been an easy week at all. (No need for me to launch into details here. You can imagine.)

But in many ways it’s been fun. For the most part, I’ve made the most of it and put in a little effort to do some special things with the boys as I’ve drastically toned down my to-do lists.

Of course, it’s also been tiring. (Very.)

And sleep (the lack and longing of it) often occupies my mind these days.

So that’s why I immediately thoguht of myself when Ryan suggested waking Levi up for a late-night ‘hello’ upon his arrival.

Justified? Maybe.

Selfish? Yeah. Completely.

Ryan’s also been separated from us for six days and misses us like crazy.

I’ll be up anyway (picking him up from the airport) so what’s it to me if he wakes up Levi? Seriously Adriel, sometimes you’re just selfish for no other reason than you’re vision is short-sighted. Like navel-gazing short-sided.

Even if Ryan doesn’t “want” to wake Levi when he gets home on Sunday night… I will make sure it happens. For his sake mostly, and for Levi’s. (Levi is easy to get resettled these days anyway.) But also for mine.

Selfishness, make haste. You are SO unattractive.

STOP.

Q for you: When is the last time you said something without thinking it through and then later realized you were being completely selfish?

Love,
A

p.s. Went over time today. Again.

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited.
Adriel also writes (using spell check) on motherhood and parenting on The Mommyhood Memos.


My inner critic

Apparently sixth grade was a big year for me:

The year I learned about autism.

The year I did my first volunteering (outside of a church setting at least).

The year I wrote my very first report. (The report was about koalas. Oh, the irony as I write this from Down Under 23 years later.)

It was also the year that I got my first B.

I’ll never forget it.

Mrs. Smith handed me my report card and there, next to “science” was a B. A big, fat, dreaded B.

I was devastated and burst into tears.

Cry. me. a. river.

My 11-year-old logic: My family didn’t have much money. If I wanted to go to college, no doubt I’d need to get there on scholarship. And if I wanted a scholarship, no doubt I’d need to have a perfect school record. Perfect. Six grade included.

(Where does an 11-year-old get these ideas? Certainly not my parents for the record! They were thrilled with my B and never, ever pressured me about grades during my entire life. Not even once.)

But there I was, an 11-year-old with ruined college and career plans.

maybe I couldn’t become a child psychologist after all. (I wonder what a child pychologist would say about my ideas back then? Hmmm… another post for sure.)

I’ve since earned a few B’s, and when I got to college I actually got a C once. It was in math or science, of course.

But you know what? I don’t even remember what exact class that C was from… because it’s not important.

I’ve since learned that I will never be perfect. I will never have “straight As.” Not on my report card, and not in life.

Most of the time, I’m at peace with that; sometimes I still wrestle.

beginning this five-minute-a-day blog is an excercize in beating that inner perfectionist to death.

Do you know how hard it is to just write and not edit and then the world see all of my flaws and typos and scattered thoughts?

But it is working. It is helping.

And I am becoming more comfortable to just write. Write without reservations.

Thank you Mrs. Smith for helping me to see that a B is still really, really good. I’m sorry it took me a few years to figure it out.

Q for you: My inner critic is the perfectionist. What’s yours??

Love,
A

Click Clink Five is a blog by Adriel Booker. | Five minutes a day, unedited. | 2012 All rights reserved. | Adriel also writes on parenting and motherhood at The Mommyhood Memos.