Speaking of Monday Coffee…

Ok, actually this is a chai latte but isn’t the heart such a nice touch?!   

And look at this lovely sunshiny place I’m working at today-I think I’ve found my new spot closer to home! Don’t worry Cuppies & Joe, I still love you! You’re just too far away these days…

Have a blessed Monday as you’re getting back into the groove of the week!

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

To All the Waiting Mamas

I hesitated to write anything around Mother’s Day, but after reading some lovely ladies’ blogs at My Perfect Breakdown and Waiting for Baby Bird (y’all should go check out their very poignant posts), I really felt it pressed in my heart to add to the discussion.

There are many roads to motherhood. I’m convinced there’s no one right way. I’m also certain that the path to and through motherhood is often full of pain and waiting.

And it’s the Mamas who are in the midst of the pain and waiting that I wanted to talk to.

You are important.

I know a lot of Mamas who are currently waiting. Waiting to hear from the adoption agency. Waiting to see if their fourth round of IVF has worked. Waiting to see if the vasectomy reversal is an option. Waiting to hear when their son in another country will get to come home.

I know Mamas waiting for test results, waiting for a phase to pass, waiting to hear from their kids’ fathers, waiting to hear from the adoptive parents, waiting to hear from their kids.

We Mamas, in all our forms, have the really tough job of standing in the gap for our children, often before they’re children: when our bodies fail us, when the adoption falls through, when the baby is born sick or isn’t born at all.

When the child isn’t home yet or we can’t be with them. When life happens and we just want to know why but probably never will.

This waiting we do as Mamas isn’t a wait the rest of the world understands because it is a waiting of the heart.

This is the hardest kind of waiting because you have to go all in.

100%.

Which pretty much guarantees that we will get our hearts broken somehow. At some point. In some way, probably unforeseeable to us at the time.

And yet we do it anyway.

This takes bravery on our parts. And faith that something good will eventually come out of the situation somehow. We wait even when we don’t know what else to do.

Mother’s Day has been a source of pain for me at various times throughout my grownup years. Even when I wanted to celebrate my own Mama sometimes it was difficult when I was in a place of waiting. 

Motherhood has not come to me easily.

And I wondered if I even counted as a Mama before I had a baby in my arms. Did it matter that I had a Mama’s heart with no baby yet? Could my waiting and my pain make any difference?

I believe it does.

Many become Mamas in their hearts long before their child is present. And on a day such as Mother’s Day when we’re all celebrating Mamas everywhere, this might cause pain for those Mamas whose hearts are full but arms are empty.

So to all the Mamas who are waiting-waiting for a phonecall or paperwork or their fertile days or a letter or email or hug or travel plans or to see their own Mamas again someday-you’re not alone.

I’m praying for all the Mamas in my life who are waiting for something. I’m praying for strength for you, for courage, expediency, protection and hope, and for all you need at this point in your journey.

Blessings to you, Waiting Mama, and Happy Mother’s Day-

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

To the last Blogger Who Nominated Me for An Award

Thank you, thank you, and thank you! I waited too long to participate and now I can’t remember who nominated me for what award! I’m so sorry:)

I blame my children for my poor memory… 

 

In their defense, though, they’re adorable!

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

Denial

It’s official, I’m in denial.

I don’t believe I’m going to have a middle schooler this fall. I can’t believe it’s already May. My bitty baby can’t possibly be almost 18 months old. And I don’t believe that my day tomorrow looks like my secretary totally screwed up my calendar. 

Oh wait. I don’t have a secretary-that was me.

Argh! I need to be in two places at once and Mr. Wonderful will be gone and I’m up to my eyeballs in children (literally-my 11 year old is almost looking me in the eye). And of course we have a dentist appointment, a special Mother’s Day celebration (for which each kid has to provide a dozen homemade cookies which means all the moms have to provide the cookies. Does anyone else see the problem here?) and I have a particularly busy work day.

It’s not even tomorrow and I’m tired.

But to attack this day I’m going to have to count my blessings, look for the silver lining, find the pot at the end of the rainbow and all other positive clichés you can think of. 

So here goes.

My baby’s so sweet when he wakes up. He always gives me a tight, lingering hug after I change his diaper in the morning.

And my 7 year old asked if I wanted him to wear a tie to the Mother’s Day celebration. A tie! He’s so excited and it warms my heart.

And Mr. Wonderful gladly takes on extra work to support his family.

And though there’s been bad weather in my area today (tornadoes, flooding, thunderstorms), there haven’t been any fatalities. The strangest thing that happened was a tiger reserve had some damage so everyone living in that area is supposed to stay in their homes as they have not accounted for all the tigers!

So today, in preparation for tomorrow I’m fixing my eyes on good and God and tomorrow is going to be amazing!

©Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015

Hindsight

I’ve been thinking about hindsight a lot lately. How sometimes I wish I had the benefit of hindsight in the moment rather than later. I could save myself a lot of trouble.

Of course, then maybe I wouldn’t learn the lessons I’m supposed to, or maybe they wouldn’t stick with me so well if I didn’t have to learn them the hard way.

But wouldn’t it be awesome to know you’re headed in the right direction sometimes?

My name is Meredith, and I am a leaper.

I tried to type the word leaper and autocorrect wanted me to say leader. Apparently my leaping makes both Mr. Wonderful and autocorrect uncomfortable.

Leaping is often where I’m most comfortable. Maybe that sounds strange, but that free-falling feeling when things are changing and you’re weightless and the potential is there for new beginnings and wonderment to happen is a kind of freedom I long for.

It’s the landings I sometimes have problems with.

That moment right before impact where I realize I probably should zigged rather than zagged is a real thought-provoker. Where everything goes in slow motion as the ground is looming before me and I actually have time to think all of my driving words before I hit the hard earth-now that’s the time for some deep self-introspection.

Wow, could hindsight have saved me some bumps and bruises and gaping open wounds along my journey!

Honestly, the wounds themselves often aren’t as bad as the process of mending back together. During the healing is when skin stretches and stitches tighten and scabs form. Bones knit together, bruises fade. It takes time. And medicine for healing to begin and continue. And tenderness from those caring for you.

And in this time, appreciation grows. Gratitude for abilities taken for granted or working body parts is restored. Analysis of the leap itself can take place as you’re focused in on your healing.

And learning happens. Healing happens. Growth takes place.

So maybe, as much as I wish for hindsight in the moment, I should be happy for the hard fought lessons learned and growth endured. Because that is what brought me to here.

And here is a really good place. 

©Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015

Intentional Neglect

I heard this phrase today and I think that’s what I’ve been doing the last few days. I’ve been so crazed with kids and ER visits and speaking engagements that I had to let something go. And social media was it.

I didn’t Tweet, I didn’t blog, I barely looked at Facebook. It made me remember with a little fondness what it was like before we had all these entanglements. And as much as I love writing in this blog, I kind of miss those days.

I did non-technology things. I spent time with my kids. On purpose. Like, really observed and participated instead of just trying to get from one moment to the next because my To Do List was so long.

I spent time writing and speaking. I had the privilege of speaking at a single mom’s conference hosted by an awesome organization in my area called the Bethel Foundation. I was so honored and blessed to be there and it was a truly incredible conference to be part of.

And finally, I spent time doing a little something for myself. In the heat of summer I love wearing cute dresses. Not only did I find some, I bought them. For myself! And I don’t feel anything but great about it.

Finally I got the “playhouse” (this is what my daughter calls my closet) painted. My space is looking so good, can’t wait to finish putting it together!

And by intentionally neglecting some areas, I was able to focus on other areas that nourished me. Refreshed me. Made me remember how grateful I should be for all of my blessings.

  
(Photo credit Meredith Shafer) ©Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015