February 26, 2014

choosing the good life.

It's late, actually 2 am early.
I've spent the last few hours tinkering around on my blog and I got stuck reading old blogs I've written.

This has been a tough year for our family.
Bed rest, near-death experience, a move across the country, a new baby, continuing health problems, a new job for the professor, new schools for the kids, new neighbors, new church friends, an all around new normal.

It has been a trek.
I am amazed at the power my husband has been blessed with as he truly does my job and his.
I am amazed at how resilient kids are.
I am amazed at how kind people are.
I am amazed at life and the "great plan of happiness" that this life is an essential part of.

We are still in the midst of our trial and it is stretching.  I struggle to describe my real life to you without dwelling on the hard parts myself.
Really- my life is still very, very different from what it was.
My health is compromised and that affects everything.  We aren't back to normal yet... but, normal is coming.
I don't even want to focus on the hard stuff, because right now I am overwhelmed with the good stuff.

Can I just THANK YOU?!!
Thank you for reading this silly blog of mine.
I actually take pride in my awful grammar and blurry pictures.  
Sorry about that.
I always try to be real, so that you know that real is GOOD and BEAUTIFUL.

Honestly, I lay here tonight and my soul is overflowing with gratitude for the years we were in school and didn't have much money.
Because I KNOW that money isn't everything.  In fact, money isn't much of anything.
Family is everything.

I'm grateful for my health issues-- because I learned that our mental attitude is completely separate from our circumstances.
We CAN be happy and find joy in crummy circumstances.
Do you know why?  Because people are good.   We are surrounded by so many good people that we can always find something to laugh at or be grateful for.
Thank you for being my good during my hard.

I learned that FAITH is a CHOICE.
If I looked for miracles, I could always see miracles.
If I wanted to SEE God blessing me, I could see Him.
If I wanted to feel sorry for myself, blame God and feel alone, I could do that too.
Gratitude changed my reality.  

Faith is a literal choice I make daily.
I choose to believe in God.
I choose to be grateful.
I choose to SEE or focus on the good in my life in the midst of hard.
And, I have been blessed.
So, so blessed.

As I read my older posts, I felt the love I had for my little ones oozing through my poor punctuation.
When you don't feel good, kids are harder, more draining, work instead of play.

A mother's soul is a choice also.
We choose to love, even when we are tired, cranky and overwhelmed.
We mother because we love and we we love because we mother.
I know that you CAN choose to see the sweetness in a crying baby, even as you feel the weight of your constant responsibility.  
You can let yourself LOVE in the midst of the stretching.
Being a good mother is not instinctual-- it can be chosen.

Falling in love, true happiness in marriage, that is also a choice.
Years ago I learned the power in cleaving unto my spouse.
Why does the natural ebb and flow of life drag two partners apart?
I don't know.  
But, I do know that deliberate, purposeful, effort is required to seal two souls together.
LOVE is a choice.  Feelings follow actions. 

I am head over heels, blushingly, completely in love with a man that is just as imperfect as I am.
I am in love with him because I choose him, I pray to love him and to see him like God sees him.

I am loved by him because I LET HIM LOVE ME- even when I don't love myself.
He loves me when I'm hurting, he loves me when I'm scared, he loves me when I'm ugly... and I let him love me.

Loving is a choice, an investment.
Loving is physical and emotional and spiritual and mental.  It takes TIME.  It takes EFFORT.  It is so important.
We should love more.

Tonight, I am humbly grateful for the choices I have made.
Grateful I chose to keep this baby who was hard to get here.
I'm grateful I chose to SEE God in my life.
Because I am loved and blessed, we all are.  
Faith preceded so many miracles in my life.
I'm grateful that I loved my children.
I'm grateful for a marriage that is beautiful and strong and eternal.
I had NO IDEA how hard a really beautiful, blessed life could be.

In society today we focus SO MUCH on who we are.  We spend years analyzing our past, our DNA, diagnosing our problems, searching for a magic pill that can make us happy or smart or sexual.
We think bigger boobs, smaller thighs, better clothes, new furniture, more "me-time",a green smoothie, another self-help book is going to make life easy.
I just don't think so.

I think EFFORT is part of the equation.  Thorns, wrinkles, tired mothers, laundry, to do lists, health problems, money limitations, headaches these are ALL part of the plan.

We have to CHOOSE faith, choose to love, choose to cleave together in our nakedness...

We have the power to choose our destiny despite our journey.
Choice is a beautiful gift.
I am pro choosing.  Can I tell you how good it feels to SEE that I chose LIFE and it was a beautiful, good, VERY HARD, worthwhile choice?
Choose wisely my friends.
You are not alone.
(I've given you an iPhone picture glimpse into my real life.  Precious moments mixed with mountains of laundry, a messy counter top, spilled green smoothie and a garage awaiting order.  I'm not embarrassed to show you my real- because I believe life is a beautiful reality.)

I'm OFF the computer and ready to finish my laundry and clean my messy counter.
(Honestly, I already cleaned my counter yesterday after this picture was taken... my garage is still a mess.)
Life really is good, if we CHOOSE to see the good.

PS- If you have any desire to hear Eve "making music" as she discovers how to blow bubbles in her green smoothie, or hear her counting seven finger on her left hand, FRIEND me on FACEBOOK.
I posted a couple cute videos there and one of my long-time cyber friends said it was the first time she had never heard my voice before.  Go ahead, friend me.  I let you see my cut up stomach and my messy counter.  So, we really are friends anyway.


Laurie said...

I love your blog! I have been reading for a couple of years and I feel like your blog has given me perspective on so many things. Thank you for sharing your journey and your ups and downs. I have a darling baby the same age as yours and four other little adorable stinkers ages 11,8,6, and 3. I always find something good to read here. Something to inspire, ponder or just make me laugh on a daily basis. Your blog has occasionally been the spark of awesome discussions I have had with my sister, husband and friends. Just wanted you to know that I appreciate your blog and your attitude. Off kiss my big kids goodbye, to bathe my baby, start the laundry, get my talk ready for New Beginnings tonight (good thing is is short) and find the supplies for a quilt square book report. :) Thanks again.

Debbi said...

I love this blog post. I read your blog every day and don't comment as much as I should but I love how real you are. We have had a rough year and are dealing with our new normal too. You always say things that make me look at life differently and make me see the blessings we do have. Thanks!

cheryl cardall said...

I "friended" you on FB. I appreciate people who are real on blogs...too often only perfection is shown. Anyone who is honest knows that cluttered counters/garages/laundry are more the norm than perfectly organized and clean!

Jenifer Moss said...

Thanks Laurie and Debbi-- I can see that people read my blog, but I love getting to know who reads it and why. I'm certain we can all run life's marathon with friends to laugh with along the way!

Cheryl- my house really is perfectly organized and clean all the time. I just stage these blurry phone pictures to attract more readers. :) don't tell anyone.

Ugh. Caught. Back to my folding!! (You should see how sparkly my upstairs bathroom is-- and you can see the floor of my family room. Two loads left!!)

Tamie said...

Jenifer you truly have a gift; again you've turned day-to-day life into an inspiring message.

Too many of us focus far too much on feeling guilty for what we haven't done, that we miss out on our opportunity to feel a sense of accomplishment and gratitude for what we have.

I used to keep a gratitude journal to help keep things into prospective, and during that year, (that I was faithful my journal), I learned a few things about myself.

1) I had many, many things in my life to be grateful for.

2) I had a natural talent for disguising a really bad day.

April 9, 2002
"I'm grateful that Super Glue was all that was needed to put the tip of my finger back on."

I also learned that, said gratitude journal, offers lots of comic relief when read years later, especially when shared with friends!

Katie Olthoff said...

Don't worry - it looks like the dog is about to lick up the green smoothie.

You are an amazing mom. Truly.

Shelly said...

This is why I love reading your blog! I'm so glad to be a friend of a friend of yours! You truly are inspirational!

Catherine Andrews said...

Again you inspire me and make me thankful for all that I have. I love reading your blog because you are real!

Catherine from Wyoming

Emily said...

Took you for your word and friended you on FB :) Thanks for all your wonderful insights. Love your blog.

Mrs. Mathewson said...

HI Jenifer, I love your blog! I started reading just before I went into hospital with my percerta baby, you blog prepared me as I was undiagnosed. It has given me courage, and inspiration. It has been a true blessing in walk the journey of percreta. I was checking in on your blog today to see how things are for you. Very happy to see your perfectly imperfect life. I would love to friend you on facebook :) Blessings

Mrs. Mathewson said...

P.S. I can't find you on facebook.

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