Tom Cruise Running

Friday was a rough day at our house.

Let me be clear: it wasn’t the kind of rough day we’ve had before. We’ve had the kind of days that shifted our very foundation before and this wasn’t it. It’s easier to maintain a certain perspective when you have had those kind of days where you weren’t sure if everyone was still going to be on this side of the dirt when the day was over.

This was your average rough day and it was all mine. Lately I haven’t been writing much of anything because that would mean I’d have to write true things. And my truth these days is that I’ve discovered that I don’t know how to rest

I have been running at such a hot operational tempo (being married to a military guy tends to rub off on a person’s vernacular) for so long now, my gears have gotten stuck in overdrive. I only know two speeds at which to plow through my life: fast and the even faster Tom Cruise run.(photo cred The 10- Minute Ramble)

I’m just going to be frank right here and say that this discovery about myself sucks. The meltdown of epic proportions at our house Friday was similar in scope to what you might see a tired, cranky, overwhelmed hangry three year old have in the middle of the Target aisle that’s suddenly populated with other parents whose children are actually behaving. And it was all mine as well. 

I was the one who was having worry-related stomach aches for the third day in a row. I was the one losing sleep and not stopping anywhere on my journey. I was the one who had the full plate and the fuller burden for all the people who are relying on me. And without pausing, without rest, I was running on empty.

My husband, Mr. Wonderful, is like a giant St. Bernard in these situations. He’s born to rescue people. Before he dove into the situation though, he prayed for us. For me. For all the crazy glue that was slowly coming undone in all those places I had so quickly run by the past few years.

As we talked I began to realize that because so many of our family’s burdens have been on my shoulders the last few years, I’ve gotten really bad at asking for help. And along the way I have forgotten how to slow down, how to really give myself permission to let things go for a little while and rest.

I used to be the Nap Queen. This was my actual nickname in college. My roommates were amazed at the chaos and crazy I could manage to sleep through and that I would just crash whenever I needed to.

Fast forward a few years (ok, obviously more than a few but don’t tell my kids-they think I’m 28. I’m rolling with it.)–

I. Can’t. Rest. 

I’m talking physically, but more importantly, mentally. I can’t stop Tom Cruise running through my mind or my To Do List. My caffeine consumption is enough to single-handedly keep Columbia in business. In fact, what we spend on caffeine is probably nearing the gross domestic product of several small countries.

I have managed my juggling act for quite some time. But then I dropped a ball. And another and another until now our floor is littered with them.

Friday felt like I was in the middle of one of those giant ball pits that are in kids’ play places. You know, the ones you thought were the best time ever as a kid but now that you think of it as a grownup it kind of makes you throw up just a little bit in your mouth?(photo cred weheartit.com)

Mr. Wonderful did something that allowed me to stop drowning in the ball pit of my own making. He wrote down each worry I have been juggling–including the ones on the floor. Then he told me just for the weekend, he was going to take them and work on whichever of them he could help with. And I was not to do anything about them. In fact, he took that notebook so I couldn’t even look at them.

The act of putting everything on paper and then physically giving them to someone else for awhile sounds really simple. But don’t mistake simple for easy. Many times this weekend I have wanted to look at that book, cross things off the list, take them all back and start worrying about them but since Mr. Wonderful is way to big for me to wrestle the notebook away from, I couldn’t.

I have rested and relaxed. I got sleep. I finally did with those worries what I should have done long ago–I gave them away to my Savior. Though Mr. Wonderful was my earthly guard over that notebook full of my anxieties and what ifs, Jesus was the one I really entrusted it all with. I know better, but sometimes it takes a Mr. Wonderful-sized reminder to actually do better before we give it away.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:6-7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

So if you see me Tom Cruise running, you have permission to tell me I need to slow down-

©Copyright Meredith Shafer 2017. Click here for my new book, Mad Cow: A PTSD Love Story or connect with me on Instagram or Twitter.

Snow Day

By 5:00 am we knew what lay in store for us-a SNOW DAY!!

When I was a kid these were the two best words in the English language. It meant alternating playing outside til your extremities were frozen with warming up by drinking hot chocolate filled to the top with teeny marshmallows. We would read books, maybe play a little Atari, and pray for more snow days. You might even dare your little brother to lick a metal object outside. (Photo cred A Christmas Story)

Now, as a mama who works from home and has been trapped, uh, enjoying her four children over the Christmas Break, is it wrong that I’m no longer as enamored with the Snow Day?

I’m just being real here, friends. Surely I’m not alone. I know for the rest of the day I’ll be seeing posts about the Pinterest Moms who are making origami dinnerware and weaving their own clothes with their kids, using their time wisely during this snow day but that’s just not me. We will be barely maintaining our grip on sanity and reality as we make our way through the Snow Day.(photo cred someecards)

Oh Snow Day, why today? The day I needed to go into my real office and handle two separate fires? The day after only one day in school so there goes the routine. The day I don’t even have teeny tiny marshmallows for cocoa and haven’t been on Pinterest in far too long.

I hear the sounds of children stirring, my only plan at this point is to let them all drink coffee and milk in their jammies and watch some cartoons til I get a better plan….(photo cred funnyminions.com)

Happy Snow Day friends, pray for me!💗

©Meredith Shafer 2017. If you want to connect with me, catch me at FacebookTwitterInstagram or http://www.meredithshafer.com.

Baby Houdini

Here’s what he’s been up to this week: 

 Not even sure how he managed to get up here. Who knows how long he’d been balancing there using his spidy senses and running the water…  Just hanging out in the toy box… 

 This little monkey climbs everything…we’re in trouble for sure.

This post brought to you by bananas and the letter O (no!)-

Photo cred Meredith Shafer 2015. ©Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015. Swing by Instagram and Twitter to say hi!

Give Yourself a Break

I hate to say it, but we’re starting off this week a little rough. I don’t know if it’s the weather or the anticipated break but yesterday and this morning have wrung me out to the core. 

There’s no one thing; it’s just the pile of things that weighs me down. Anyone else? 

 (photo credit livelifehappy.com)

Between the late night taking Charlie the Service Dog to the doggy ER (probable abscessed tooth, we’re following up with our regular vet today) and not hitting my caffeine limit yet today, I’m dragging booty. And of course I’m not super happy about spending money on doggy dental right before Christmas.

Sigh.

No longer can I party at the doggy ER all night then wake up super early to get four kids out the door. Remember those days? Some of you are still living them but I’m older now and I can’t do it. Back in the day I could stay up all night, grab breakfast with no sleep and head to class where my brain would still function pretty well.

Even a few years (and a few kids) ago, I could be up with a baby most of the night, hit the coffee hard and still make sound decisions at work.

Now–not so much.

Let’s just say there’s not enough coffee in the world today to make me feel comfortable doing much with the money/number side of my job. I’ll be doing things like checking the mail and returning phone calls and scheduling site visits. And I’ll take it easy on myself and continue to caffeinate.

And remind myself that I’m doing the best I can. 

Sometimes that’s the most kind thing we can do for ourselves. Keeping things in perspective, not talking bad to or about ourselves just because it’s a rocky start or a hard day. We can turn our own days around just by giving ourselves a break. 

 (photo credit Pommel Lane)

Don’t wait for anyone else to do it for you. No matter what you’re walking through or towards today, do your best and forget the rest. And then give yourself a break, remind yourself there are new mercies for all of us everyday, and live in peace despite your circumstances.

Take a minute. Breathe. Drink coffee. 

 (Photo credit single mothers.us)

This is my plan before I tackle the rest of my day. And no matter the outcomes of all the crazy I have going on, it will still be a blessed day.  

 (Photo credit evepostapple.tumblr.com)

I hope yours is too, friends.

©Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015

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