brave

my boys are at riverpalooza, a rafting/camping extravaganza with beloved friends {can't believe we are going on 5 years for this rad tradition}. i'm home because.........i'm 36 weeks pregnant. it was a complete shock to cal and i. he didn't want another and i bargained that if we were done then i would get a teacup yorkie puppy and get it trained as my therapy dog. i longed in my heart for a 3rd but could never make the leap; i started leaning toward the yorkie. we got pregnant the next month. at my brother's wedding this past weekend, one of the groomsmen looked at my huge belly and said "how's the yorkie?"

 

i've been working as normal and plan to up until the c-section date of July 10th. this is always a vulnerable topic for me because we all know that plans do not always happen as we imagine them. but this is another step in bravery and courage in the midst of pregnancy, which is always a very, very vulnerable time for me. my boys {including lake} teach me a lot, but one of the things they teach me most about is to be brave. so that's what i've been trying to do.

 

most of you have probably read shauna niequist’s book, "present over perfect," if not it’s really refreshing. she talks about real versus fake rest in one of her chapters and i have very much resonated with this. having a 5 and a 3-year-old, working a couple days a week, and trying to just maintain a semi-functional household leaves me with zero time. i find ways to numb out––never actually feeling my soul fill with rest. sometimes my body feels more rested, but rarely does my soul when i'm in seasons like this.

 

 

i knew this about myself, but forgot in the loud decibel culture of parenting––I desperately need quiet. i have 3 whole days here. my mom is coming today to paint the kids' rooms. i was home here yesterday all by myself and i felt the tight ball of yarn begin to unravel and some of my clustered thoughts became more clear and i felt such instant relief. today is the same. the apricots are almost ready to be harvested, my dianthus and petunias are soaking up the water in this 90 degree western slope heat. i'm walking around tending to and nurturing things, putting lemon oil in the diffuser and vacuuming the furniture. for me, this is real rest. i had an intention to go to our darling local bakery this morning and drink a cup of coffee and read but was just too tired to make it there so i filled up my cup and breathed in the summer air and talked to my neighbor and saw 3 monarch yellow butterflies {always my God language}.

parenting is not an arena to feel in control. it’s actually an arena of just choosing love amidst the chaos

here's what i've uncovered: 

i often feel very over-stimulated in parenthood, in this season with littles. it’s loud and really messy and i really like things to look pretty and keep looking pretty and 85% of the time if you stopped by my house i would truly be embarrassed at the mess. little boys are so very busy and so very loud and demanding. i read again in present over perfect that this is a "need-meeting" season and that's how i feel. i'm constantly getting a cup of milk, cleaning up the milk, wiping a bottom, wiping the counters, starting the washer again that didn't get unloaded the day before.

 

i actually feel way more control and productive the 2 ½ days that i go to work. parenting is not an arena to feel in control. it’s actually an arena of just choosing love amidst the chaos. i look at my friends with older kids, even teenagers, and know that will be a very different phase. i won't be there for awhile.

 

but here's the other thing i uncovered:

amidst knowing these things about myself, i absolutely and completely adore the mess. because it signals life is here. more and more life. requests for paw patrol, finding nerf bullets in the most unlikely places, seeing gunny's eyes light up at me getting his favorite popsicles at the store. i LIVE for these things. talk about soul-FILLING. even though my soul is tired it is chock-full.

 

so i guess it’s living in the dialectical reality of BOTH. which is why i love YES AND. because it is often BOTH. i am exhausted and so full of happiness. i feel crazy and anchored. i feel like i'm gonna lose it and so full of purpose. it’s complex but simple.

 

you are doing a great job, mama. its so hard. you are doing so great

i saw a mom in city market yesterday, so threadbare and yelling at her kids. i didn't have mine with me, so i looked at her square in the eye and said, "you are doing a great job, mama. its so hard. you are doing so great." she immediately softened and we talked about due dates and a few other mommy topics. i've never met this woman and will likely never see her again but i felt a camaraderie with her simply because i know she gets it.

 

i see you dear mothers. i'm gonna need you to stop me in city market and give me a WORD, okay?? i'm not at the yorkie stage yet.

Palisade, CO

Rickelle takes joy in the simple things in life and can often be found pointing out things of beauty–both big and small. As a licensed Therapist, she enjoys helping others find truth and breakthrough. However, Rickelle's main loves are Jesus and her family. She and her husband, Caleb, have two adventuresome boys. Rickelle also delights in conversation and time spent over coffee with treasured friends.