Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Growing People, Growing Things

Growing People is hard work. 

Growing Things can be hard, but not quite as hard as growing people. 


We have had 25 years of growing 4 people in our house and under our care. 

Now, suddenly they are all grown up and have had enough confidence to move out into the world all at their own speed, which I would like to point out... to me feels really fast!

It's surreal, awesome, exciting, scary, strange, and wonderful all at the same time. The launches start gradually, similar to how the growing starts. As fast as they came into the world, now just as fast they have all left this nest. Moses and I are only a few weeks into this empty nest, and I gotta say, it feels like only yesterday we started out on this journey with no IDEA what we were doing, or how quickly it would go. 

The days are long, but the years are short. 

 Just like that the season for growing humans is over. In all those years I never really thought too much about how important the task was, because when you have 4 humans to grow, and they spring up so fast, you don't really have time to think about it, you JUST DO IT!

I remember asking my beloved Grandma once, how she managed raising 5 kids all within a year of each other in birthdays, and she said... I just did it! She was a very wise woman. This simple response, but profound at the same time, made me think about how it is true that so much of parenting is just doing, doing, doing. 

We have too much information out there now. Everyone, now a days has a book about how to, or what to, or why to do this or that, and in reality when it comes to parenting you JUST DO IT!

 Like Nikes slogan, you put your parenting boots, or shoes on and you get in there and DO IT, every DAY!

 After a while it gets a whole lot easier and becomes second nature to be doing 5 things at one time. It is common place to be listening to several tiny humans all at the same time, and without even noticing that you're doing it, you have met all of their needs and then some. 

It truly is a phenomenal accomplishment.

If at this stage in the game of parenting I have earned the right to give any parental advice, I would say put down your phone and just do it. 

By that I mean, stop listening to all those people who don't live in your house and under your roof, and start listening to the little humans right in front of you. Don't get me wrong, parenting advice is a very good thing, but remember it's just advice. Ultimately YOU are the only one who has studied this person from the moment they were so graciously given to you. You are the only one who knows what makes them tick. You are the only one who matters when it comes to them feeling loved and accepted for who they are, and what they want to become. 

I would also say, partnering with the eternal parent who created them helps a whole lot! 

Every hair on their head is known by the creator and every dream in their heart is known to the Creator as well. So, getting in sync with that would be the first place to start. 

Growing People is hard work, but growing Souls that go out into the world, and are a light that shines in some very dark places, well that is ultimate reward for all the hard work. 

It's very similar to growing a garden. You plant a seed and you water the dirt that at first doesn't look like it will be anything significant at all, and then with some sun and more water, maybe some special food something starts to grow. 

As any Gardner knows, you can't stop not even for one day, or you won't get the results that you're after. Gardners don't get vacations. Gardners don't get holidays. They know that if they want the reward of something beautiful they have to keep at it. You have to prune, harvest, and be attentive to what you happen to be growing. You have to learn about soil, and watering, sunlight and shade. 

It's a whole thing. 

Planting a seed isn't hard, but growing something beautiful takes diligence. 

We all know, making humans isn't that hard, (that's the fun part some would say), but growing them... that's a whole other ball game. Like in baseball, my dad says, "You Win some, You Lose some, and Some are rained out. You hope for the best and kiss off the rest!" 

That is what your days of parenting will look like. Some days you will hit it out of the park and other days you will want to take your ball and go home, BUT you can't. You can't ever stop at the role of growing and parenting the humans you've been given. 

When the season is over for you and they move out from your 24/7 care and watchful eye, you will be in awe of it all. You will get the reward of knowing that you SHOWED UP every day, without fail. You will (if you have done it right ) have built-in besties now, that will make your heart explode with JOY as you watch them walk into the season you feel like YOU just started 2.5 seconds ago. 

Wonderful, Beautiful, LIFE !!!

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Time to Rebuild this Nest

I find myself in a time of personally rebuilding this nest. 
As I sit here and type this blog out,
I'm experiencing the first May in over 20 years that I don't feel the end of the school year rush.
It's a weird feeling... kind of like if you've been at a job for over 20 years and find yourself suddenly unemployed. 
That's the best way I can describe this moment in time for myself.

I have been through countless busy months of May as a full time employee to 4 amazing humans who all have now graduated high school and moved onto the fun-filled world of adulting. 
As they have all but one moved out, and got themselves very busy full lives, my life does feel somewhat empty now.
Hence, the term empty nesters. 
It's an ugly word ... EMPTY. 
No one likes to feel empty, no one wants their glass to be empty, it's either half full or half empty, but it's never EMPTY... right ?
Well, thank God this girl is a half full kind of gal, because here's where I see a glass half full right now.

The creator of this Nest has got me so good, I mean so so good.
I was sitting outside and feeling sorry for myself and my almost empty nest, and right in front of my eyes the Lover of my soul comforted me with a momma bird and a daddy bird building a new nest. The momma bird was busy gathering twigs, grass, and feathers, while the daddy bird (who was so beautiful with a pretty red chest) was up in a tree on protective look out for his momma bird. 
Creation SPEAKS if you're listening. 
I found myself with tears rolling down my face and joy in my heart, thanking the Lover of my soul for this gift in nature speaking to my heart in that moment in time.
I was filled with overflowing gratitude for my nest, and feeling hopeful that although it might feel empty sometimes now, it never will truly be.

The other thing I thought about was who I partnered with all these 20+ years of building this big nest. 
My daddy bird is always on the look out for me, I call him the watcher on the wall for this family.
I have an amazing husband, truly I love being HIS wife. 
If I could give any advice to young mommas and daddy's it would be this, 
make sure to stay connected to your person in the midst of all the busy.
Remember when times get really, really tough that you are on the same team and that ultimately the nest that you build together will be one that you can look back on and feel grateful for because you did it together. 
If you are a momma or daddy bird that lost their team player know that YOU are NOT alone. The creator of your soul the one who gave you those baby birds is right there with you, and will comfort you like no one ever could.

So here I am rebuilding a nest that will look quite different for a while, but that's ok.
It's more than ok, because thankfully my daddy bird stayed strong right by my side and together we get to fly into this new world of empty nesters together. 

Saturday, April 29, 2023

It's Been A Long Time

Well, I finally figured out how to get back on this blog site, and let me tell you ... I almost gave up trying! these days! It's harder to get back into a old blog site than to hack a bank account.

Not that I've ever tried to do the latter, but you get my point. 

I actually did give up trying to get on here, and started a new blog, shhh... don't tell this old friend, but I was stepping out on the side because this old friend wouldn't let me back in.
This place has been a safe place for almost 20 years now though, so I couldn't give up on it. 
I found my fingers gravitating back here, time and time again until finally TODAY I cracked the code.

                                                      WOOT WOOT!! SHOUT THE PRAISE!

Since the last post published here, I can't even begin to go through all the changes that have taken place as the train of life just kept on chugging. 

Here's what you need to know if you want to know, which if you're reading this you might want to know, so I'm going to tell you bullet point style;

*Solomon graduated during a pandemic
*All 4 kids moved into the new tiny house on Molly(plus one extra during the pan-dem)
*We planted a garden and you can just call us Farmer Mo and No now.
*Then starting with Emma and her plus one the kids started to move out.
*Emma moved back to Seattle(during the pan -dem)
*We were deemed "essential workers" so we didn't get the year off from the world
*We got a "Covid Pup" named him Nigel and just the like the song says, "We only want what's best for him"
*Chloe and Solomon moved to Reno
*Isaiah my baby graduated, turned 18 last July, and he's really good at it !
*Chloe then moved to Seattle
*Solomon is moving to Ohio in July
*The MoNoSco house is almost an Empty Nest now, and I find myself having ALOT of time to blog

Ok, now that you're caught up let me tell you what I've been thinking about lately.

The world at large is a HOT MESS ! ! (yes, that statement deserves 2 exclamation points)
Has it ever not been a HOT MESS?
If there was a time when the world at large was NOT a HOT MESS, what time would you say that would have been?

Here's the other thing I've been thinking; its a BEAUTIFUL MESS made up of beautiful, messy, messes. 
It's called humanity. 
I refuse to give up trying, or lose hope in my tiny efforts to make it better.
When I think about the messes, the ugly, broken, nasty BIG messes, I get overwhelmed so I tend to avoid them.
It's not like I don't know they are there, but since I can't clean them all up or even a tiny bit of them, I feel paralyzed to do anything at all... and that is a terrible feeling. 
So, then I go back to basics in my thought process and my soul.

All I can do is control my little corner of the mess and try to make it better.

That being said, this beloved place will be a place of safety and hope and encouragement ... or at least that is my intention in finding my voice again here, and speaking out, and speaking up, and hopefully cleaning up some of the mess. 
I especially feel like there needs to be more blogs about working hard, growing things, hopeful outlooks, creating, and enjoying this beautiful life.

IF that's what you want to read with your precious time on the inter webs then come by, and say hello here.
It's a safe place with more LOVE and HOPE to come. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

You Become... to Solomon and the class of 2020

All I can do right now as I look at the world you have graduated into is 
Be thankful
know that 
for LOVE to win, it starts within !
Also I offer this letter to you, and a quote from the Velveteen Rabbit;
Dear Solomon, 
Don't ever forget who you are, and where you come from.
If ever you feel you are forgetting, turn your phone off, go outside and look up.
 Be still and know.
As you move forward into the world of adulthood, remember there is a great cloud of witnesses that have gone before you on this path of life and faith. 
Your voice is unlike any of theirs, but it was fashioned and formed by the things they said, and did before you.
Don't worry about the world, it will be o.k. , but take great care of your world.
Know that as you are still, and know who you are and who you serve you will change the world as you yourself are changed from the inside out. 
The people that come into your life, your sphere of influence, those are the people that you walk out life with, and sometimes it's only for a season.
These people that come and go are your life lessons.
Some of them will come and stay forever as you have already witnessed, and a great many others will go passing you by, but remember in all relationships there are life lessons.
Listen more than you speak. 
Don't forget those that have gone before you, as you start this journey remember they are always there for you to cheer you on.
Don't hesitate to ask for help, because we all need help from time to time.
Everyday you wake up, before your feet hit the floor thank the giver of life and breath for the day ahead, and every night before you go to sleep thank that same giver of life for another day here. 
And know this... no one has it all figured out... even those who are in their 90's ... that's what is so beautiful about life.
Like Forrest's momma always said;
"Life is like a box of chocolates
You never know what you're gonna get!" 
"YOU become.
It takes a long time. 
That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, 
or have sharp edges,
 or who have to be carefully kept. 
Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair is has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. 
But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand. "
*A quote from the Velveteen Rabbit*
Solomon we are SO proud of who you have become, and who you will continue to become. 

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Hear Ye Hear Ye ... this is for the Momma's and Poppa's

Good morning my "fellow shut-ins" and "stay at home" momma's and poppa's. 
It's crazy to think that we are all stay at homers now, remember when there was that dumb thing we did as parents re: who was a working mom vs. stay at home mom?

Can we ALL agree if you are a mom or a dad you ARE working. FULL STOP.

Also,  I want you to hear me when I say, this is NOT what it was like when I stayed home with 4 kids 6 and under.

We were not under quarantine.
We met with friends on a daily basis. 
We went to the dollar store without masks on as treat for doing chores, and I got to feel like Oprah for  a minute when I told my kids they could buy anything in the whole store just for fun!!

We went to parks, playdates, etc. and had a shift in our day when Moses came home from his day outside the house. 

I do have somewhat of a comparison to this time, in that 9/11/2001 happened while I was pregnant with Solomon, and home with a 3 yr old and 1 yr old,  Emma and Chloe. 

That was a stressful, emotional time to be a parent similar to this, but NOT the same. 

I didn't have to explain to my kids why they couldn't hug grandma and grandpa.
I didn't have to tell them that school was closed, and they might not ever go back, at least to school the way it was before Covid 19.
I was not trying to juggle working from home, while working with and parenting my children too. 

Sidenote- When I was a stay at home mom of 4 kids 6 and under, I had a part time job in the evenings when Moses would get home from work at a Psych and Detox facility answering the suicide hotline and I would tell Moses... "Ok, bye babe I'm going on my break now !" 

Because, going to work even at a Psych and detox facility was easier and felt like a break from staying at home with 4 littles. 

(I hope that makes you all feel a little better and also that you truly just LOL'd)

I say all of this to say, that I feel your pain right now. . .


 I want you to know that there is a reason why those of us who didn't choose to home school our children did so... (insert wide eyed emoticon).
SO I just want to encourage all the parents right now that have littles, and bigs...
You are doing a great job. FULL STOP. 
No matter what your stay at home situation looks like ... you are awesome and need to give yourself a pat on the back.
Remember to take deep breaths and to put some music on and dance it out!
If you and your children are having more melt downs it's ok.
If you are having more blow ups it's ok.
If you are feeling alone, you're NOT alone. 
If you've become friends with the mail carrier that's ok too.

If you keep seeing all the posts of parents who are seemingly hitting the ball out of the park, so to speak, just know ... that ball is hitting them in the face on some days they just aren't posting those moments on social media. 

Alright, now pull up those boot straps and know that 


Thursday, March 26, 2020

A Groovy Song and Some Thoughts on Covid-19

So, there is this song from the Bahamas,  that has been rolling around in my noggin this past week. 
(please scroll to the bottom and press play)
First off, it's just a groovy song.. yes I did just say groovy, did you press play? It's groovy right?
Second,  it talks about something we all have been given a lot more of lately.... TIME.
All the time in the world...  don't you want some of that?
This pause that we all have been given, although it is scary and we don't know what is around the corner, and we all want to believe that life will go back to normal in a few weeks, the truth is none of us know. 
Not even the people, the government officials who are making the decisions for us right now, no one knows where we will be in a week or two weeks. 

But, in attempt to stay focused on whatever is true, whatever is pure, whatever is worthy of praise (see previous post) this song is making me think this time is a gift. 

What we do know is that  it is a time when we have been forced to slow down, and we don't like being told what to do, but maybe for just a moment it's a time we all get to remember what is truly important. 
All the time in the world...  don't you want some of that?

We are given this incredible gift of time, and yet it is still so hard for us to slow down and reflect.
I hear in myself and others the new shift of attention rather than looking inward,  the conversation is the stats of how many cases are in our area, or the challenges of home schooling, or what food was at the grocery store... don't get me wrong I'm right there with everyone with these topics, but I wonder how much of it all is a distraction from once again looking inside ourselves to hear the river of life 
calling out...  
It makes me think of this quote from the book Broken Open by Elizabeth Lesser;
"All the while, deep within us, flows an endless river of pure energy. It sings a low and rich song that hints of joy and liberation and peace. Up on top, as we make our way through life, we may sense the presence of the river. We may feel a subtle longing to connect with it. But we are usually moving too fast, or we are distracted, or we fear disturbing the status quo of our surface thoughts and feelings. It can be unsettling to dip below the familiar and descend into the more mysterious realms of the soul."
I want to hear the "low rich song that hints of joy, and liberation, and peace" and this is the perfect time to do that. 
Please do you and your soul a favor and take some of this time to self-reflect, Elizabeth and her book Broken Open -How Difficult Times Can Help us Grow-  would be a good place to start. 

Despite the fact that we find ourselves inside, and possibly bored to tears with the Corona-virus outbreak,  find the ways , the things, the foods, the FaceTime visits, that make your soul sing and enjoy this groovy song while we wait this one out together. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

A Remedy To Worry and Anxiety

For as many, many years far back as I can remember 
 my most favorite verse from the Bible has been Philippians chapter 4 verses 6-7.
The text reads like this;
(this is the Amplified version cause I like words... a lot)
"Do not fret or have any anxiety about ANYTHING, but in every circumstance and in EVERYTHING, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with THANKSGIVING, continue to make your wants known to God. 
And God's peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of it's salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends ALL understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."

(if you don't like so many words try finding this verse in the New Living version or NLT)

I have only memorized a few verses in the Bible over the many, many years that I have been reading
 it's amazing-nes, and this verse was one that I could even tell you where to find it in that big ole book. 

The reason for this being my favorite, or as some would call it a "life-verse" is because believe it or don't, I am a very anxious person. I used to worry about everything, and therefore didn't sleep real well at night. So when I first came upon this verse I thought about how much it made sense to me that if I just brought my prayers with thanks to God the worry and anxiety would go away. 
I'm here to tell you that honestly it worked a little, no actually it worked a lot, when I practiced praying about EVERYTHING. 
Often times, I will admit though to you beloved reader that I didn't pray. 
Instead I would fixate on the worry and then it soon would turn to anxiety, and then I soon would pour myself a glass of wine instead. 
I'm just being honest. 
This remedy has become like a muscle now though that if I work it, it grows HUGE and works every time. 

Still, there has been something missing for me all these years ... like a hole in a donut... mmm donuts... wait ok come back to me my thoughts.
For a very long time, 
I'm talking like over 30 years now... (insert wide eyed emoticon and granny emoticon too while you are at it) I haven't read these verses in succession of the following verse 8. 

Until the beginning of this year, I just memorized Phil 4:6-7 and verse 8 stood alone on an island that seemed unreachable. 
I mean I read verse 8, but not with the company of verse 6 and 7. 

It's hard to explain that you can read something a million times and then suddenly read it, like it's the very FIRST time you have ever read it. 

Does that ever happen to you, am I alone here?
Well, I'm here to say verse 6, 7, and 8 are BEST FRIENDS and should be kept together at ALL TIMES!

Here is verse 8 text;
"For the rest, (or AND THEN) brethren and sister-then, whatever is TRUE, whatever is WORTHY of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is JUST, whatever is PURE,  whatever is LOVELY and LOVABLE, whatever is KIND, and WINSOME and GRACIOUS, if there is any VIRTUE, and EXCELLENCE, if there is anything worthy of praise, THINK ON THESE THINGS."
When I read it this time it read like this to me; 

 STOP thinking about what isn't true, false imaginations, rehearsed arguments in your head only, scary and unsure things, lies about yourself and others.  

It basically said to me, think on GOOD things. 

Somehow, at the beginning of this year, verse *8 stuck OUT to me like it was in NEON lights. 
AND this is what suddenly came to me like Oprah talks about having an AWE HA moment,  or is it Ha ... AW HA ? Whatever, you get what I'm saying, it made me think about these verses like a math equation for the problem,  for the very real issue of worry and anxiety in my life.
Problem to solve ; 

Worry and Anxiety


Prayer + Graditude+ Thinking on Good THINGS= PEACE.
Now, beloved reader I don't know if you are a person of faith or not, but even if you are not I think we can all agree that pausing to pray or meditate, living thankfully for what you do have, and staying focused on good things is truly a remedy for this worrisome and anxious time.

Here are some of my prayers with thanks these days;

For those that are having trouble breathing, I pray healing, and thank God for the air in my lungs.
For those that are in positions of leadership, I pray wisdom, and thank God for eternal wisdom.
For those who are already feeling financial burdens unexpected, I pray for relief and thank God for provisions unseen. 
For those that feel alone right now, I pray comfort and good neighbors that have eyes to SEE them, and I thank God for all those who are currently looking for ways to be a good neighbor. 
God make me a good neighbor. 
For those that are international students that can't fly home, I pray for surrogate moms and dads to shelter these and doors to open all over to strangers that soon will become family, and I thank God for family.
For those that work in the health field and are on the frontlines of this virus, I pray protection and I thank God for miracle workers.

I pray too for you dear reader that you might have peace that surpasses all understanding, 
peace like a river,
peace that calms this storm and leads you beside quiet waters, 
Peace that is that tranquil state of your soul.  

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