Life

Abe’s Life: Learning the Ollie

Learning the OllieLook at that teenager up there.

With Abe, we noticed at a very young age that our kid had the athletic streak in him. Being parents who are really into music and art, we of course secretly hoped our son would come out and be one of those 3 year olds that can play the drums, hence the two drum sets our son has had. But alas- he doesn’t really care at all about music, and shows a great amount of enthusiasm towards anything that requires strenuous physical activity. We’ve promised to each other that even if we aren’t necessarily passionate about what our kids end up being passionate about, we’d encourage and support them through it. It’s really incredible to watch a baby grow into a tiny human that has abilities and smarts, whatever they may be. I’m fascinated when we get to be around other children and I watch how they all excel in different things. My hope is that as Abe grows up with his friends, they learn to lift each other up and celebrate their different abilities. I think it starts with us adults modeling that by encouraging each other. 

Abe’s been messing around on a skateboard since he was about 2, maybe a little before. I can’t quite remember how it started- I think someone brought over a skateboard to our house. However or wherever he saw it for the first time, he wanted to do it. I bought him this tiny skateboard from a lady in town for 5 bucks that had butterflies and peace signs on the back. He didn’t care and neither did I; he just wanted something to skate on. He quickly progressed and grew out of that tiny one, so we bought him the next size up, and he also got one from his uncle Shawn and Grandma. We could tell that he was starting to get bored, as toy skateboards aren’t really meant for actual tricks and skating, but for learning and playing around on. So this past Christmas, we bought him a somewhat legit, regular sized skateboard with Ninja Turtles on it (of course). 

For the past 6 months or so, he’s been trying to figure out the ollie. We’ve observed that he gets really pissed and impatient if he doesn’t get something fast, and wants to give up easily. Oh, how the pride hates to fail. Daniel and I have both been that way as well, and there are things we’ve given up on that we wish we hadn’t. So, even though mastering an ollie on a skateboard is something that I could care less about personally, we are trying to encourage and push him to figure it out and accomplish it, no matter how long it takes. You know what is required of us to keep doing that? Patience, friends. LOTS AND LOTS of patience, which we are learning to have.

Learning to OllieWe’ve showed him several youtube tutorials on how to learn the ollie, and thankfully Daniel knows how to do one enough to show him in real life. I had no idea my husband could do a skateboard trick until we had a little boy. If I tried this I think I’d end up breaking both of my feet clean off.

Learning to ollie

Learning to ollieI know it looks like he got it here. The one thing that keeps tripping him up is getting the board off of the ground.

Learning to ollieAs you can see, he’s not a fan of falling. He used to get SO upset when he fell off of anything. I think it was my Pastor, Dale, who told me to celebrate the next time he failed at something to show him that it really is ok. He fell off his bike shortly after that conversation took place and I cheered and told him that it was an awesome fall, and he actually started to laugh. Since then, he’s been a little better about falling and doesn’t throw a tantrum.

He still gives the stink eye though.

Learning to ollieWe’ll make sure to keep you updated when he gets it!

My Simplicity: Lemon Water

Lemon and Water

 In college, when I attended Palm Beach Atlantic University while living with my two bests, my first class of the day during fall semester was Spiritual Formation. I know the name of that class sounds funny, but it was honestly one of the best/most memorable classes I took. The main book we used for the entire semester was Richard J. Foster’s The Celebration of Discipline. He split our class up into small groups that we would meet with at the beginning of each week to discuss what we learned from the chapter we were supposed to read and practice the week before. It was odd, having to do that for a grade… but I discovered a new facet of faith that I do believe was a part of the beginning of my sanctification process.

My favorite chapter ended up being the one on the discipline of simplicity. At first, I dreaded the thought of reading through that and remember fearing what it would require me to do. But, after a day of unplugging my life so to speak, I discovered a peace and tranquility that I’d not quite felt before. I didn’t use my phone or watch tv that day, and I didn’t eat out. I made food at home, didn’t fill my time with plans, and spent the evening sitting on an abandoned life guard tower at the beach by my house. I read, wrote, prayed and listened to the waves crash onto the beach.

I felt like I could breathe.

Unfortunately, I didn’t take that “homework” and really implement it into my life. It’s taken years to slowly discover what makes life more simple and find the courage to apply it. But that chapter on simplicity has stuck with me ever since.

Several of you reading know my battle with self-image and comfort eating. It was a back and forth fight for so long, and sometimes it rears its head. I’ve gone from mantra to mantra, diet to eating plan, always trying to fix the symptom and not the issue.

As my beliefs about my worth have been changing and being made whole over the last year or so, the need to have some elaborate eating or exercising lifestyle has left me.

Right before I got pregnant, I had begun to struggle again, as I felt physically yucky all of the time and wanted out of my skin. Life was a bit chaotic at that time, as we were I’m the process of buying a house during the holidays. Cooking healthy meals wasn’t a priority. Instead of hopping on pinterest to find the latest diet craze (like I’ve done so many times before), I googled “drinking water”. I knew at that time, I wasn’t drinking enough water and wanted to be encouraged to do better at that.

Just more water intake, that’s all I wanted to try.

I stumbled over some articles on drinking fresh squeezed lemon in a glass of water every morning, and the exhaustive list of benefits that it provides for the overall health of the average human being was enlightening. So, I decided to start there. I was going to drink lemon water every morning when I woke up, along with two more glasses of water before breakfast, and I was going to keep surrendering my image and worth in prayer.

The benefits of a glass of lemon water

Simple.

1 full glass of water with squeezed juice from half a lemon (or a whole one, if it’s small).

After less than a week, I noticed an overall change in the way I felt. Choosing to start my day with water and lemon made me more aware of how dehydrated I had become, and how good it felt to start my morning waking up my body by hydrating it. I became more aware of what I was putting in my body, and was more intentional about getting at least 64 ounces of water a day. Cravings for certain things disappeared, and my regular bouts of fatigue were gone. After  several weeks, it hit me that my migraines and body aches were completely gone. I dropped 5 pounds in a few weeks, but didn’t know it until I discovered I was pregnant and weighed myself. I also noticed that my eyesight improved, and haven’t needed to wear my reading glasses in a long time.

I know this sounds really weird, but it felt like my cells were being nourished.

Obviously, I’m not able to show normal results over an 8 month period, because I’ve been pregnant for most of it. But I decided to carry on this new discipline into my pregnancy, and I think it’s helped in a lot of ways. Pregnancy comes with a lot of physical discomfort, but a glass of lemon water actually aids in the aches and pains. I still drink one glass of it when I wake up, and will often drink another glass later on in the day when the afternoon fatigue hits.

This may be one of the first disciplines/habits I’ve started that I’ve actually stuck with. It’s just a part of my every day life, I don’t even think about it anymore (unless we are out of lemons, and then I take notice). It was a simple choice paired with the understanding that no action is going to change my heart, and it is working. If nothing else, my body is hydrated and my migraines and aches are either at a minimum or non-existent. I know that there’s more good stuff going on inside my body as a result of the awesome junk that’s in lemons, (read about the benefits and myths over at the Wellness Mama Blog), but I don’t really care to focus on those. I feel better. It’s made my existence more simple; freed up some physical energy to spend on living life.

If this is something you want to try, I think that’s great, but ask yourself some questions first:

1) What is my motivation for doing this?
2) Do I believe that I’m enough?
3) Am I surrendered to the fact that disciplines HELP us navigate the heart issues, but do not ultimately cure them? If not, what do I need to surrender?

Now, go drink some water :)

Bloodline

Bloodline

The popular belief these days is to simply embrace your true self. To stop denying who you really are, whatever that looks like- and in the process, only surround yourself with people who affirm it.

Well, I don’t think anyone would want to be around me if I did that.

In sifting through my Evernote folders, I came across a poem I wrote sometime earlier this year. From the looks of it, I was having a really rough day. It must have been the day I saw Sia’s music video for her song Elastic Heart, which would explain the reference in the first part of the poem. I feel somewhat embarrassed for saying this, especially in light of Shia Labeouf’s latest viral explosion (you know, the one where he yells “JUST DO IT” a bunch of times?)… but that music video ripped me open. I remember feeling overwhelmed when it was done, as it left me with tears spilled down my face and bewildered by my reaction. Abram wasn’t home for whatever reason, which thankfully allowed me to deal slowly with whatever was trying to come out over the course of the afternoon. Not that I can’t deal with stuff in front of my son- I often do, for both of our sakes. But sometimes, children don’t afford you the courtesy for long, afternoon bouts of self analyzation.

It all came out in this poem called Bloodline. I’m a little scared to let you see this, as I usually am when I share this side of my writing. But as I came across it, I felt compelled to share, perhaps in thinking on the world and culture we live in. I know I’ve kept it pretty light over the last several weeks, so I’m sorry for jumping from silly pictures of college cafeteria life to this. I only wrote half of it that day, and the other half a few days ago when I decided that it wasn’t finished. The second half is in bold.

BLOODLINE

 

I know I’ve come out a bit different

But I’ve still got the same blood running through my veins
Which is why I know most of my bad thoughts aren’t whispers from the devil
But darkness inside of my own DNA
Maybe the reason that caged dance
Bothered me
Is because I’ve been at war with myself since
The day I was made
And try as I might to allow the clean blood to take over
Some days I can’t help but be stuck in the reign.
 _________
The reign of family history. 
History flowing deep inside of me.
I can feel it trying to slowly blot me out
Like the moon eclipses the sun.
 _________
Curses aren’t just incantations in fables
But as real as unmarked tombstones
They are forever like the lines on the palms of my hand
Sins that are buried with bones.
 _________
I feel the serpent creep slowly, subtly inching towards my brain
Wanting to sink into the right lobe and then the left
Start wars that are only fought in vain…
 _________
Not. Me.
My answer is no, even though parts of me want to give in.
 _________
It fights to take over, it wants every inch of my inside
But curses can end, for so long they can only try
To consume a child, and sometimes they win
But if I fight back…
If I fight back against what was started within…
 _________
Then maybe. Maybe the Reign of Family History will finally, and with great anticipation and with triumphant celebration and with blood-marked justification…
 _________
Come. To an end.
 _________
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus
Sweetest name I know…
 _________
I do know You
But You’ve known me far before the star stuff exploded
You’ve known about my bloodline
You were inside of my history
 _________
You wept when our children wept
Because of the things that were stolen
Your righteousness burned with white flames
As you watched father’s sins birth more sin
 _________
There are things you’ve allowed to happen
And my heart still asks the why questions
But You…
 _________
You knew me. 
You knew I was coming.
And you decided to put a fight in me.
 _________
I’m not special.
The divide created from the moment Eve decided to try and take your place
was in my heart when it started beating.
 _________
So this fight, this freedom uprising
I cannot take credit.
I know in my blood the foul potential
And all I’ve got as weapons are truth and grace.
 _________
Grace… greater than ALL of my sin
You knew me, You know me, You know where I’m headed…
 _________
You win.