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I am the crazy mom of five boys.  Four of my five boys are on the autism spectrum. Neuro-Diversity rocks!!!  I cook, I clean, I blog, I breathe.  Yup that is about it.  If you want to catch a glimpse of our crazy world you are more than welcome but don't say I didn't warn you.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Glimpse of Tomorrow

Tomorrow
Tomorrow, I said as I blustered on by
Tomorrow, I will have time to look in your eye
Today is so crammed, with so much to do
I really don’t have time to focus on you
Tomorrow I’ll slow, tomorrow I’ll stay
Tomorrow….really it’s much better this way
Tomorrow is yesterday, and today is all through
But tomorrow next week I know just what we’ll do
We’ll go for a cup of that old blessed joe
We’ll talk, we’ll catch up on the need to knows
Tomorrow, I said as I blustered on by
Tomorrow, tomorrow…..tomorrow says I
Tomorrow, how many times I have been guilty of missing the needs of those around me in my preoccupation with the needs of the day.    This week has presented me with many opportunities to lay down my agenda, to stop and be an ear, a shoulder, an open heart for those around me.  Sometimes, I did exactly that but other times I kept on going with my day, completely oblivious to the need I just missed.  Too often the ones I miss are the ones I should be most in tune with,  the ones I share a roof with, my life with….my own family.  Sometimes I get so used to hearing the voices, the noise, and the chaos that I miss something, someone important.    After the day slows, the voices quiet and the chaos stills I realize what I have missed and my heart breaks a little.  It is my prayer that God will help me to slow down and notice the small, quiet needs that are easy to overlook and that I will learn to lay down my agenda and pick up his perfect plan daily.  If you are one of the one’s I have missed in my blustering, please forgive me.  If you are one who is blustering along beside me maybe together we can learn to slow down and see those we miss in our harried, hurried lives.  Lots of love-Kristine

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Glimpse of Margin


Unlike many in my family, I am not a great poker player.  I had moved out of the house before the big poker tournaments began.  However, one thing is consistent when I play.  I am an all or nothing kind of player.  I will either fold at the beginning or I almost always I am going to play the hand out.  This works well for me sometimes.  When the cards are running my way or the other players are playing as poorly as me this strategy can indeed be quite effective.    But if one little thing goes wrong….if the cards aren’t so favorable or a new player joins the game: I am sunk.  For this reason I don’t play poker;) However I live my life the same way I play poker.   I am either all in or I’m not in at all.    This style of life pursuits has its advantages.  If I commit to you that I am going to do something, you can bet your bottom dollar I will do everything in my power to do it.  If I am your friend, you know I will be loyal to you through thick and thin.  If I believe in something fervently, then watch out world! I’m coming for you!   In fact once I get going on something I leave myself no margin, whether it’s money, time or energy if I’m all in then I am ALL in.    It is this that God has been working on in me this week.


This week was a rough week.  We started the school week WAY behind in our lessons, hubby worked late almost every night, one of my little guys was sicker than sick for two full days and physically I was at one of the lowest points I have been at in a long time.  In fact I spent an entire day unable to get off the sofa.  My body hurt everywhere and I was completely exhausted, not tired but so exhausted that just standing up for a few minutes meant I had to sleep for at least an hour.  I don’t often talk about these times because quite honestly I find them annoying and embarrassing.  I hate having weaknesses and I hate even more allowing others to see them.  My house was/ is trashed (we’re slowly getting it back together) and I was at my wits end.

Thursday came around and started out well compared to the rest of the week.  I was feeling better so I set to work.  I cleaned, made challah for sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles), taught the kids school (caught up on a lot), made a special dinner for Sukkot , and was getting ready for our home group when I just completely crashed.  My husband looked at me and asked what was wrong.  I burst into tears and told him to take the kids out of the house for a drive because I NEEDED a few moments to myself.  I just sat in a quiet, empty house and cried.  I was used up, done; I had nothing left to give.  I took a long, hot shower and cried some more.  I turned on an old movie on TCM and cried again (yeah I know weakness again…I hate that).  My hubby got home; we put the boys to bed and watched some TV.  He looked over at me and said “You know honey you never leave yourself any margin in any area of your life.  You jump in with both feet and run until there is nothing left to give.”  Right then in there I felt that convicting tug of the Holy Spirit. 

Friday was another crazy busy day.  I had my Rheumatologist appointment in Dallas.   Dallas is really not very far from our house (around 40 miles or so) but the drive can be long simply because of traffic.  Once the doctor saw me he placed me on more medications, medications I have been fighting going on simply because I hate weakness (I know a theme right?).  He looked at me and said without an inflection of any kind in his voice “You are going to go on this medication because you need to give yourself a break.  You need to sleep and there is no reason for you to be in this kind of pain.”  Again I felt the Holy Spirit gently speaking to my heart, give yourself a break, and leave yourself some margin in your life.

On the way home from the doctors a car lost control and nearly hit me.  He spun across four lanes of traffic, coming so close to me that if my window was down I could have reached out and touched him.  I always leave a lot of room between me and the other vehicles on the road.  You drive 95 or 495 enough times around northern VA or DC you figure this out pretty quickly.  Again I felt that still small voice:  When you leave margin you can better deal with the crises that arise.

So this weekend I gave myself permission to leave margin.  My plan had been to rush around cleaning like a mad woman, catch up on more school work and have a generally stressful weekend.  Instead I enjoyed a wonderful Saturday with my boys.  They got haircuts, we ate out and when we were home we chilled out.  Today I had wonderful morning at church, a leisurely lunch with my family and friends and then went to get my hair styled.   I gave myself margin, I started my medicines and gave my body a break and I am in a much better place as I start this school week.

I don’t know if any of you, my friends, are living a life without margin.  I don’t know if you cram your page of life so full of stuff that you’re writing up the sides (Like me).  If you are living full speed ahead I would encourage you to take a moment to breathe, to reassess where you can give yourself a break, to leave a little margin.  I know I will need to be reminded of this many times in the future.  We can walk this road together.  Lots of love-Kristine

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

10 Promises to Other Mothers


I awoke bright and early this morning, rushed two of my beautiful boys through their morning routine and onto the bus and then sat down at the computer for a few quiet moments of Facebook before my other three boys woke up.  Facebook is my vice, I admit it freely.  I love staying in contact, daily in some cases, with friends and family I would never speak with otherwise.  Facebook does have its drawbacks though.  One of them is that people, including me at times, are often too free with their opinions on how others should live their lives.  After reading one such post I have decided to compile my list of 10 things that I promise to every other mom out there.

1.      I will never tell my horrific labor and delivery stories to a new, expecting mom.  I will wait until after she has delivered and wants to share her own.  Then it’s no holds barred if she asks ;)



2.      I will NEVER lay a guilt trip on any mother about breastfeeding, cloth diapering, natural child birth, making her own organic baby food, or when her child sleeps through the night.  There are plenty of ways a mother will pile guilt on herself throughout the next 21 years.  She really does not need me to add to her pile of guilt.





3.      I will never just pop in unannounced on a new mother or a mother of small children.  This is cruel and unusual.  I will also respect that if a mom only opens her door 2 inches and speaks through the crack that there is probably a very good reason.  I will not try to glimpse her house, her hair or her attire.  We all have those days.



4.      I will not judge the mom at Wal-Mart or the mall whose child is screaming bloody murder.  I understand that I am not in possession of all the facts and that this one moment in time is not a reflection on her parenting abilities.  Again we all have those days.





5.      I will not judge a mother on working outside the home or putting her child in day care.  This is one of those family decisions that I have no right to an opinion on.  Having been both a working mom and a stay at home mom I know each has its own challenges.



6.      I will not judge a mother on her choice of schooling for her children.  I will not push any particular schooling method on her.  I have done both public school and homeschooling (I would love to do private school but it has not been an option) again each has its advantages and disadvantages.  This is another family decision that is not my business unless asked to share my experiences.



7.      I will not judge a mother on her choice of whether to medicate or not medicate her child.  God has given her the wisdom for her child, not me.  My opinions are only opinions and will only be shared if I am asked for them.



8.      I will not judge a mother if her child gets dirty while playing.  Seriously people the cool thing about kids is that God made them washable.



9.      I will not judge another based upon her size. Some moms have 15 children still wear the same size jeans that they did in high school.  While I find this very unfair and annoying I know that God loves them just as much as he loves those of us who have increased the size of our laps;)  I will not tell anyone woman what they should or should not weigh. 



10.  I will never, ever tell another mom that she is not good enough and I will always endeavor to view my fellow moms through the lens of grace that I so need to be viewed through.
There it is ladies; my pledges to you.  Lots of love-Kristine

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