Monthly Archives: March 2020

Forest or the Trees?

It’s easy for me to lose focus on the bigger picture.You know the saying, “Miss the forest for the trees?” That’s me, but I take it to a whole other level. While I’m lost in the forest (or on my way to lost), I’m so distracted by the small details ( but seriously, how beautiful is moss on tree bark?) that I can forget the bigger scheme of things. I’m the worst person to figure directions on a map or any hiking trail. Ask Freddy. I have zero sense of direction.

So, when I least expected it, I am slowly discovering the bigger picture.

Patience. I’ve struggled with patience for years. I always want things done perfectly and yesterday. Well, with the schedule completely cleared (still can’t wrap my mind around this), I have time to be patient. With everyone else’s schedules the same way, the comparison of keeping up with everyone else’s productivity has been wiped away. I could never have done that on my own. It’s been such a blessing. I wake up and don’t even have to look at our family schedule.

Family. We’re focusing on things more important than deadlines and crammed schedules. Like family. We’ve been playing family games (yes, sometimes I bribe the kids into card games with a pooled amount of money for the winner) and taking turns walking our dog. I can see our kids decompress and exhale.

Nature. It does WONDER for the soul. We’ve been taking a lot of hikes and taking our time because there’s no schedule. We make fairy gardens and find cool things to collect and spray paint at home. We have time to look for agates in dry runs and by creeks.

We are slowing down. Staying up late and watching movies and sleeping in as long as our dog allows.

Hobbies. Yes, there are moments of complete craziness and meltdowns, but overall, it’s been forcing us to appreciate the importance of togetherness and the contentment of separation in finding our individual hobbies. Our kids have picked up long-forgotten hobbies like painting and playing piano and graffiti art (that’s Sterling).

So, blessings to you all. May you still appreciate the finite details, but also immerse yourself into the bigger picture of family and patience and nature and finding what fills your soul in solitude.

Turns out, slowing down isn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

Putting Ability into Instability

I crave stability and security, which go hand in hand. Well, God has a sense of humor because like most people, my adult life has been anything but consistent.

We have the many benefits of being self-employed and running our own business, but with it, especially in the early years, came inconsistency. Inconsistency in our schedules, our incomes, the dependability of people we worked with, whether from a client standpoint or a training standpoint. We’ve worked hard to build stability into our business, but being home at different times every night and working commission had some anxieties attached in the beginning.

Though we have more control and flexibility over our business schedules, our kids’ schedules leave it a rare occasion we eat supper together at one time or are even together at once. Especially with a family of five schedules.

And, it seems that when one kid is “up,” and things seem routine and under control, we’re dealing with another kid who is dealing with his/her own crisis, whether grades or with friends or sports or you name it.


Teenage years are so tough to parent in. Tougher than the physical exhaustion of chasing them around (even three of ’em) when they were young. I think back on the days when I would pull the baby in the wagon, chasing a toddler on a training bike, while walking the third to kindergarten. ANY DAY over this emotional exhaustion. Ugh! Add onto that, the random and inconsistent “sick days” from school that throw any consistency in my schedule off (thank God we’re self-employed on these occasions, but still…!)

So……welcome Corona virus.

Welcome to the shutdown and all the instability that is messing with us everyday. Schedule changes. Like every few hours. Long-scheduled events that had been carefully planned and worked around for months are now no longer. Trips are up in the air. Book talks, retreats, conferences and kids events postponed and I find myself checking our email almost hourly for updates. Welcome instability. You might fill me with some anxiety, but you do not scare me.

Deep breath.

I understand this instability is tough. Quite frankly, it sucks.

So, if you are craving consistency and routine right now, like I am, here is what I’ve decided I CAN do:

  1. Put consistency and routine somewhere in my week: walking our dog every morning and evening, meeting up with a friend for coffee once a week (laughter therapy and “mom-venting” does wonders!), church Lent services on Wednesdays (bonus: I don’t have to cook when there’s church supper).
  2. Pray for more flexibility. I’ve stopped praying for patience because ever since I did this, I feel like I’m constantly tested. Seriously God. I kind of wanted it given to me, not built from patient-stemming situations!
  3. Schedule free time/family time in my schedule as if it was a client appointment. We often put our clients before our personal schedules so why would I not do this for our kids?

It’s the most I can control at this time, but I figure that balance is key. And if God has thrown so many inconsistencies in our lives, it must be because He knows we can handle it. That we’re the type of people who are RESILIENT and have the internal fortitude to rise up to meet the challenges of the unknown and not only meet them, but find opportunities and blessings in them as well. Even if it comes with the uncertainty of the unknown.

So, here’s to finding the blessings in the unknown and the unplanned. To filling missed events with family time and your own choices of consistencies in this unstable and crazy world.