Monday, June 27, 2011


This morning I got the kids into the car and saw that I was on empty. It shouldn't have surprised me since I saw it yesterday after church but still, I was caught off guard. As I first drove Owen to the sitter and then Garrett to the bus for camp I prayed I wouldn't run out of gas with the kids. I was feeling pretty thankful when we made it to the bus to only realize I forgot to grab Garrett's camp shirt as they were going on a field trip today. Walking on the wild side I used what precious gas I had left to grab his shirt to meet the bus just as the last kids were getting on.

I drove to the closest gas station on fumes, with the radio & air off, and breathed a little easier with every intersection crossed. Never before did the phrase "Thank Heaven for 7-11" mean so much. As I waited for my tank to fill, I couldn't help but see the irony.

For almost a year I have been running on fumes, mentally & physically empty. The last few months the subtle warning signs have become not so subtle. So, instead of squeezing in just one more committment/task/errand/investment/person while ignoring my fuel light I am stopping to fill up.

The last few weeks Mitch & I have made an investment in each other by dreaming, discussing & designing the life we want to be living next week, next year and for the years beyond that. We are re-evaluating what is most important and taking a look at whether or not our time/energy spent is in alignment with those priorities. I'm excited.

I'm excited that we are looking at what is broken and working together to repair. As one small example, the last few nights we have been doing the Sleep Lady Shuffle with Owen and last night he slept until 2:30 before we had to do the dance. This may still sound terrible but it's an improvement. Typically, I dismiss my struggle with getting the kids to sleep soundly by joking that it is the part of parenting I stink at. If I'm being real, I've recently admitted to myself that this is a symptom of my internal struggle. Most times (unless I'm at the point of exhaustion) those middle of the night feedings/snuggles are precious moments of connection that I want, that I feel I miss with the boys (mainly Owen right now) during the day.

I'm excited/challenged that I'm facing my insecurities related to belonging and connection & questioning the place of social media & blogging in my life.

I'm excited that Mitch & I will take a trip alone for the first time since our honeymoon nine years ago. That we are reclaiming our romance & putting each other first.

I'm excited that serendipitously this weekend we were both given signs that it is time to adopt the sabbath as a true day of worship, family & rest for our household.

I'm excited that we are starting a journey of simplification in order to live the best life for us.

I've always felt as though we try to lead a life where our family & each other come first but the strains & pressures we feel today show me that I haven't been doing this with my whole heart.

The transition will not be easy and I know I will likely be /already am disappointing others by not meeting deadlines, expectations or behaving the way I'm supposed to. I do not dismiss this lightly but strongly believe this is one of those intersections in life. I do not want to look back two years from now with regret that I did not put what was most precious to me first because I was afraid of change, others perceptions or consequences. You can only see in retrospect what was the straw that broke the camel's back and simply I'm not taking any chances. It's time to stop & fill my tank now.



Photographing Mom said...

Thanks for sharing. Good luck in the changes!!! Sounds like they will be what you need. :)

Jenny Garland said...

Wow, the running out of gas sure was a sign, huh? I'm proud of you and excited to hear/read about the changes you all make. I think you are so incredible. Hugs! Jenny

Anonymous said...

Good for you, Monica! Taking stock is always a good thing, life needs constant attention and re-evaluation. You are a wonderful mother, wife and friend, I'm so happy to see you investing in yourself and your family. Love you! And miss you, too :)