Inspiration for Today

I needed this today, thought someone else might too. Have a blessed day! 

 

(Photo credit unknown) ©Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015

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Unravelled

I have this adorable leopard print kimono since they’re all the rage right now and I’m the queen of fashion. Ok, not really but I do love me some leopard print. Kimonos are so versatile-wear them with jeans or shorts or leggings. Can we say love?

Anyway, it has this fringe around the bottom that I’m constantly snagging on things. I’ve actually snagged myself so bad it literally stopped me in my tracks, whipping my various body parts in opposite directions. Now there’s a video that would go viral.

And now there’s a teeny little place where my fringe seems to be coming unravelled. It’s just a small spot really. And I need to find time to fix it but I keep wearing it because 1) it’s so cute and 2) the whole “it goes with everything” thing.

Even though I know that it just takes a little spot to start off the unravelling that becomes the undoing that becomes the big gaping hole.

I’m struggling with this.

I guess you know by now I’m no longer talking about the kimono. 

I’m talking about me.

It’s as if I have to hold myself together so much and so hard and so well that sometimes when a teeny little piece, hardly even noticeable, starts coming undone, it can be the beginning of a major meltdown on my part.

Even when that tiny piece gives way to several other spots that create a chasm that would make the Grand Canyon jealous, I try to plow forward. Don’t stop. Keep pressing on.

Until I can’t.

Today seems to be one of those days. I’ve put my happy face on for my children and my Mr. Wonderful for a few days now, all the while knowing things were slowly coming untied and untethered. And now, at the breaking point, I find that it’s quiet and lonesome, probably as it should be due to the happy face mask I wear sometimes.

I am a real person with real heart pains and brokenness and things left undone. I am not at my best; in fact, I’m really at my least right this minute.

Oh I know things will turn around. I know I need to spend some time pondering the source of my unravelling and begin to sew it up with mindful self care, gratitude, love for myself and others. 

I know what I need to do; I’m just too worn to do it right now.

I’m tired and rambling and just ready for relief. From the To Do List, the jobs, the kids, the PTSD, the technology, My Pink Champagne Life (today it’s tasting more like a whiskey sour, that’s all I’m saying). 

All of it is weighing on me and that curve in the road I talked about earlier today is just looming before me. 

Where is my faith?

Where is the end of this unravelling? 

Where is the me who dreams in rainbows and unicorns? Butterflies and fairies? Whose cup isn’t half full but full to overflowing? Who wears rose-colored glasses and tries to pass them out to everyone around her, like 3D glasses at a movie theatre?

She seems to have left the building in search of her rainbow.

  
(Photo credit Meredith Shafer 2015) ©Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015)

Curve in the Road

Sometimes in life there are curves we can’t see around-that’s when we step out in faith.

Faith is a hard thing, a big thing. We like to see what’s coming around the bend so we can make our plans. Figure out what’s next. Get prepared.

But sometimes, we just have to be.

Are you in a hard place facing hard things today? You are not alone. 

I’ll say it again: You. Are not. Alone.

What is requiring a little more faith than you have today? 


(Photo credit Meredith Shafer 2015) ©Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015

Last Weekend

I had the most amazing twenty-four hours last weekend! I flew out to Colorado to lead a ladies retreat that was supposed to bless them, give some lovely ladies much deserved rest and relaxation.

As it turns out, I was also blessed.

I’m so surprised how that worked. I spoke most of the day, helped facilitate small groups at our breakout sessions and then flew back immediately following. I should’ve been exhausted.

Instead I was exhilarated.

The ladies came to this retreat with a lot of stuff in their suitcases: relationship troubles, deaths of loved ones, job issues, sadness, regret, soul sickness.

It was not a day at the spa.

This was hard work for some of these ladies. And they stuck with it, worked through it, and left a lot of the baggage they brought with them at the retreat center when they left. Many of them walked out lighter, more determined, and more convinced than ever that they have a special place in this world that only they can fill.

And I left there wondering at a Maker who would create our beautiful surroundings, give us much needed time to discover his peace and give us hope just by being together in his presence. 

 

(Statue in the Mother Cabrini gardens, photo credit Meredith Shafer 2015) ©Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015)

Imaginary Friends

I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this before (remember I have four kids so my memory is shot! That’s my story and I’m sticking to it) but my now four year old daughter has had an imaginary friend for some time now.

Like, about a year and a half.

And his name is Jake. From State Farm. 

Sidebar: For those of you out of the US, I’m not sure if you have State Farm insurance available but let’s just say this marketing campaign was very successful at out house.)

So the four year old talks to him and about him. He’s been a fairly integral part of our world until lately.

The sentence, “If Jake from State Farm isn’t here in thirty seconds I’m leaving without him!” has actually escaped from my lips.

And then she turned four.

I don’t know if she’s just growing up or if she doesn’t need her security blanket of a pretend friend as much anymore, but she’s letting go of Jake from State Farm.

I asked her if they were still friends and she said yes, except he’s being a butt. 

Maybe this is her way of growing up just a little more right before my very eyes.

I’m so not ready for that. 

(Playing with an actual human, her baby brother. Photo credit Meredith Shafer 2015)

©Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015 

Monday Coffee Quote

It’s running behind today because so am I!!! 

Happy Monday everyone! 

So true😁

(Photo credit Buzzfeed.com)

©Meredith Shafer 2015

Leaving On a Jet Plane

Mr. Wonderful just dropped me off at the airport. I’m so excited to be flying out to lead my first Ladies’ Retreat this weekend! I’ll be hanging out with some awesome ladies near Denver, Colorado.

Which leads me to my apology: I’ve seriously neglected this blog this week! I’ve been preparing for my talks, running the household, trying to do my day job. Let’s just say the Shafer Casa is in a bit of a shambles right now!

Sidebar: Kudos to Mr. Wonderful who is keeping a watchful eye on things and babies and birthday parties-at least I’ve left the shambles in good hands!

To my friend over at Part and Parcel who nominated me to do a writing exercise-I’m sorry! I meant to get to it but alas, it will have to wait. Thank you for your patience:)

And to everyone whose blogs I LOVE reading, whose words bless me everyday and whose bravery and courage give me strength-I’m so behind and I know you’re writing important things that I can’t wait to read.

But wait I must.

Because on the flight I need to be getting my heart and my mind in the place it should be to help lead women this weekend. I need to get my cheerleader spirit and energized mind organized and firing on all cylinders.

These women at this retreat will not be there by accident. So I want to make sure I’m saying exactly what I’m supposed to.

And of course, in a house brimming to the top with kids and boy funk and a sick one and a 5th grade play and speech therapy and occupational therapy and PTSD and baby diapers and science projects and laundry (oh, that darn laundry!), I couldn’t really get as ready and centered as is like to be.

So I promise I’ll do much catching up, reading, encouraging, hoping and praying for all my blog friends. I’ve missed hanging out with y’all and can’t wait until I get back.

Blessings on your weekend plans, I hope everyone has something marvelous going on! 

 

Organize Me!

I wish I was one of those ladies who had a naturally organized home. I truly need it, especially with as many moving parts as we have around here.

But it’s a weird cycle when organization’s not your gift. You need to get things organized before you can organize. 

Who has time for that?

I don’t necessarily need a clean house; I just long to know where everything is: a place for everything and everything in its place.

Except.

I already have a place for everything. And I have five other people who sometimes decide a new place is in order.

How do you combat this???

No seriously, how?

We moved last year into a wonderful home that I love and adore. There is a lot of storage and there’s a lovely upstairs which we’ve dubbed the Kid Zone. I can shut the door to the noise and mess and voila! Peace and quiet.

Or as much quiet as four kids can muster during waking hours.

I long for the neatly organized offices and bathrooms and kitchens I see when peruse Pinterest. Are these for real? Do any of y’all live like this?

But then I realize I’m me and this isn’t my gift and while I will continue to strive to know where more of my stuff is, my creative side still needs just enough chaos, just enough mess to keep it real. 

But I wouldn’t turn down a cleaning lady.

(Photo credit operationorganizationbyheidi.com) ©Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015

It’s Not You, It’s Me

The sentence, “Yes, you’re grounded from skipping!” just came out of my mouth.

What kind of dictatorship or regime am I running, you might ask.

In my defense, I had just said that the four year old was to lose her privileges for the evening because of poor behavior at the speech therapist’s. 

She doesn’t even go to speech therapy but when Mr. Wonderful isn’t home to watch the Littles while I take the seven year old, my trek includes two extraneous (small) children. 

In response to the privilege removal, she asked if that meant she was grounded from everything.

Of course I said yes, lured into a false sense of security by her innocent question.

That’s when she asked if she was grounded from skipping too, so to prove a point I said yes. Just to show the seriousness of privilege loss.

Just to show ’em who’s boss.

It’s all encompassing ’round these parts.

So we’re at the aforementioned speech therapy and I’m trying to type this while keeping an eye on the Littles while also trying to field calls from the dentist and the insurance company because my seven year old–the one with sensory issues, a latex allergy and a horrible dental experience to boot–has to have more work done. 

For his safety (and probably everyone else’s), the new dentist won’t do the work without putting him under. And since anesthesia is apparently made out of gold dust, we’d like insurance to pay for this. Or at least help us out.

Some days I find myself running and gunning so hard that I crack. I get caught up in the busyness-phone calls, plumbers, a stinky smell coming from my fridge, a weird new sound my car makes, a call from the school-and it makes me so overwhelmed with the details and nastiness of life that I forget the goodness.

There is sweetness to life-even on the frustrating endless To Do List days if I just get my head out of my posterior.

As I tried to type that sentence for a good fifteen minutes, I find myself sighing. A lot. Which is ridiculous. I’m a grown woman in control of her own emotions, not some crazed teenager. I’ve already done that. 

And now I hear the four year old singing a song that goes like this:

Everyone’s cranky! Tate is cranky and Jack is cranky, Mama’s cranky and Lucy’s cranky. Even Daddy’s cranky and he’s not here. And our dog Charlie is cranky. We all love, love, love to be cranky!

Oh the humanity!

I’m just a Mama trying her best, and today is one of those days where my best definitely does not feel like enough.

Which means it’s time to pack it in, order a pizza and give everyone, including myself, an early bedtime. 

(Photo credit unknown)

©Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015 

Dear Tuesday, Why Do You Feel Like Monday?

Tuesday, why aren’t you more cooperative like your Friday cousin? Why can’t you at least be more like Thursday, the docile one?
Or even like Wednesday, whose claim to fame is being Hump Day?

No, you have to try and be like Monday and frankly, I’ve had it with you! Either shape up, or I’m going to have to see about replacing you. 

Maybe with a Friendsday or a perhaps a Vacationday.

You have til the end of business today to get your act together.

Sincerely,

Meredith

 

(Most accurate selfie ever: me hiding behind a coffee cup while Baby King surveys his kingdom from his perch on high. Once he’s done with his royal breakfast, he loves to watch his loyal subjects hustle and bustle, getting ready for a day in serfdom, uh, school. And I, his humble servant, grab a quick cuppa Joe.)

Happy Tuesday!

(Photo credit Meredith Shafer 2015) ©Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015