This next blog has been stirring with me for some time. After a much needed date and some discussion with my husband on this topic last night I think I can write on these thoughts with much more confidence. However, even as I sit here and delve into it, I feel the nerves cropping up. You might find it odd that I have started this blog with my feelings about what it means to put words down in an ordered fashion. However, as I have throught through this topic of Respect not Equality, I have come to realize that although writing comes very naturally to me it can also be a trying task to order your words to convey a message.
So, let me first start with some context. As a woman, in the corporate work force, and who holds the same title as their husband this idea of equality has quite literally plagued me. I have taken this idea of equality to mean that the same will be done onto and for me, as to another. And when this didn't happen it all seemed due to my gender. Now, don't get me wrong. I certainly do think that much of the issues that plague "Equality" are found in gender differences; however, after much thought and discussion, I think that the bigger problem lies in the human inability to communicate respect.
I have often read that women and men just speak different languages. And anyone who has been in a relationship for any length of time can probably atest to that. This is where I have drawn so much understanding recently. The problem with equality being represented in the work force is the inability to communicate and understand how to be show respect from one sex to the other through the verbal words spoken and actions taken. Unfortunately, men have been in the lead roles for so long that the burden of understanding this grave misstep and correcting it certainly falls on them; however, women are not exempt from coming to terms with this very real societal issue.
Let me caveat for a moment and say that without a shadow of a doubt there is definitely inexcusable behavior and verbal speech that far over reaches the topic of a misunderstanding in communication translated to respect. However, I do believe that these individuals who have made some seriously ill thought through remarks are a product of a society that has not put emphasis on how to appropriately communicate with each other and across the sexes.
Suffice it to say I am writing these thoughts down, as it is concerning to me to hear the word equality thrown around and have an unattainable definition characterize it. Equality = we all have the same positive and negative outcomes regardless of variance in situation. This definition is just not possible given all the variables of the human circumstance. However, I do think that we can frame our expectations better when we stop demanding equality and start demanding respect above all else.
What do most of us think of when we think of seasons? I know I think of change. The change in weather. The change in clothing options. The change in pace of life (ie. school is back in session, or summer activities are everywhere). I think it is safe to say that seasons are pretty much synonymous with change. Now for the tough part. The changing of the seasons isn't always welcomed. Sometimes its because we dread what we know is already to come, and sometimes its because we just love the season we are in so much we don't want to have to shift gears.
Although, I hope sometimes we really look forward to a change in season. You hear this most times in regards to the weather....haha! "Ugh, I am so ready for fall! It's so hot." or "I am so over the cold! Can't it be summer already?" But then there are those golden times in the year that its just the perfect time. Usually its in the spring or fall, and its those days that the temperature is comfortable, the mosquitoes aren't annoying, and the clouds provide just the perfect amount of shade to sun ratio.
Well I say all this to lay a foundation of how we, parents, look at the changing seasons of our children's lives. Each season of their lives comes unexpectedly and sometimes it is welcomed, but other times it just blindsides us. I am sure we can tell the season may be on the precipice of change, but we are never quite "prepared" when it does. The realization I have come to with a now almost 5 year old, an almost 2 year old and one set to arrive in December is that there is no such thing as preparation, but there is acceptance that the seasons WILL inevitably change. And how lucky are we! To have front row seats to the changing seasons of our childrens lives.
Just like I mentioned above, sometimes we dread it and sometimes we are just so in love with where we are at in the moment we are in. But we, parents, have to be willing to get outside of ourselves and be open to the change. Not just for kiddos, but also for ourselves. I think you will be amazingly surprised at what goodness is waiting for you in the changing seasons.
I have found along the way, that in life, our best lessons can come from those whose lives are changing by the moment. Those little people that everyday are learning something new. Don't get so caught up in your routine that you miss all these little changes. And be ready to embrace them and see how you can help grow their new found interests and passions.
I recently read that the ultimate goal in a spirit filled, God led life is to rid ourselves of our own subconscious and find and live out our days with a childlike perspective. Ie. living a life without judgement, guilt, jealousy, and all the other complicated emotions that come with getting older. I mean isn't that the easiest way to follow the #1 commandment, "Love first!" I am definitely simplifying, but I think that is His point. Reaching a childlike state as an adult hit me hard. Life hasn't always been a cake walk. Suffice it to say, I have been through more than my fair share of hardships. But its coming back to this childlike like sense of who I am with the help of my kids showing me the way that has made all the difference in the beautiful life I lead today.
When we see the word investment, probably 9 times out of 10 we start thinking about money. However, this word has come to have so much meaning beyond the context of money as I continue to grow my family. Investment is a word that I often ponder when I think about my kids. Investment in time, investment in patience, investment in learning, investment in listening, investment in all the intangible ways.
Since having kids I have become accutely aware of the areas of my life that I wished family had invested more of their time, patience, energy, listening, and I could go on, in me. It's been the coolest experience to identify those things that I wished had been for me and then channel them into my own parenting/adulting. Taking the time to invest in listening to my 4 year olds crazy dreams and made up worlds. Taking a moment to pause and just appreciate both little lives that God has gifted me. It's not lost on me that they are the greats gifts and to teach them gratefulness means I must show it to them first.
It has also recently come to my attention that we can be so full of opinions that we think we need to share every single one. However, I would pose that its the opinions we keep to ourselves and allow others to reflect, revel, play make believe with their own thoughts, that really gives way to an existence where we can all appreciate our differences more lovingly and deliberately.
A passage from my most recent read, "In a pit with a lion on a snowy day, by Mark Batterson," he talks about, "The way we grow up spiritually is by becoming more and more like little children." Wow, what a wake up call. All this aging and wisdom is for not if we don't know how to stay childlike, opinion-less. I appreciated this reminder so much today. As it reminded me to invest in my kids not from this place of self-righteousness, and "oh look at me and all that I have done and how I made and am making myself in this world." Rather flipping that mind set on its head and taking the time to learn from them just as much as they are learning from me.
I have come to find that true investment happens when it is reciprocal. Not only do you put in but you get out. And you don't just get out what you put in. So many times I get back so much more than I could have fathomed putting in. Our kids are untainted, innocent opportunities that can reshape our tainted, bitter, misguided, fearful adult lives. So why not take that step back and rethink investment?
Just finished the book, Chase the Lion, by Mark Batterson. It's all about chasing God sized dreams. The quote on the front of the book really does sum it up, "if your dream doesn't scare you, it's not big enough."
This book has truly brought soul searching to a new level. Over the past few months I have tried some new things as I continue my transition out of my 8 years in the Air Force. I am proud to say that I have failed at pretty much all the things I have tried. I am proud because at least I tried. I know more now than I did then. I can move forward with no regrets that I didn't try something.
Each book that I have read over the past 2 years has been so timely. God has put in my path exactly the words I needed when I needed them. I have grown in my ability to more acutely hear His calling on my life. I have recently applied for and been accepted to a masters program in Social Work. I am over the moon for this new adventure and challenge. I have also heard the calling on my life more refined over this last month. It's such a crazy cool awareness when you have such clarity. It's scary but so great. It hasn't stopped me questioning things, but I am moving forward.
I really think this is one of those pivotal turning points in my life. A time that I will remember for the rest of my life and will be testimony to others as I grow older. I know God wants me to serve others. In the capacity of health and wellness I am sure. I know there is a giant dream to be fulfilled. I just have to remember to take it one step at a time.
I also know that I am suppose to write. He has given me the gift of word and so I must use it. And the biggest realization of all is that He has called me to be a parent. A mom to 2 amazing boys and a child who He is still creating in my womb. This amazing gift of parenthood is one that I never thought I wanted to journey given my examples. But He gifted in me all the experiences I have had to help be and create the world I always wanted as a child for my children.
I haven't been sure what to write about in the past few months as I fumbled through trying all the things. I went full throttle and then throttled way back. But I think I know what I am supposed to share most. It's my journey and love of being a parent. My love for being a mom. My joy for getting to team with my best friend in the most exciting, unexpected, hardest, and rewarding endeavor....being a PARENT :)
Here's to all the lessons that are to come on this journey.
Well, if you haven't checked out my Instagram now is the time! Life has taken off in the last couple months and thus the hiatus from my blog. But I am back and better than ever! Insta stories are on fire. Getting better every day. Life is so good and full! I can't even begin to share how blessed I have been over this past few months!
So without going on and on about how amazing the process has been. I will simply share some upcoming goodness. Come check me out in my happy places or just follow me.
Events and happenings galore:
Every Tuesday @ 930am Union Market teaching Stroller Strides with FIT4MOM Capitol Hill
Every Wednesday @ 10am Shopkeepers DC teaching Mommy and Me Yoga
NEXT Saturday, 14 April Pop up yoga with my start up yoga brand 202 Yoga Collective @ Shopkeepers DC 10am featuring Colada Shop with all the amazing cuban food and coffee
Saturday, 5 May working with SAMASAMA Art to bring FREE Family yoga @ 12pm Shopkeepers DC
Like I said to start, if you are not following me on Instagram please do, @liferichmama.
The title really does say it all. I know I have been spending this last year really trying to live into this sentiment. Finding the beauty in the uncertainty isn't something our worldly culture really embraces. I feel like I constantly find myself in conversations about what's next in my plan for my career or what's next in our plan as a family or how are you already planning what your children should be doing next. It's actually crazy exhausting. To constantly be in this state of planning, like I know what will happen tomorrow. Like I have any control over what will happen. I feel like where I currently stand in life, I could have never known. And while it is certainly not even close to being all bad, there are so many parts I wish were not a part of my life at any point in my life. Sorry to be so vague, but the details are just too numbered.
Needless to say, in this journey of life this past year I have been becoming ever more aware of my need to be dependent on our creator. A friend of mine sent me the best quote today. It said, "The way we deal with uncertainty says a lot about whether Jesus is ahead of us leading, or behind us just carrying our stuff." WOOF!!! Talk about some truth. She then asked me, "any news from work?" To which all I could say was, "No real news. I think God is letting me get comfortable with uncertainty right now."
Isn't it so true though. We come to God when we are hurting or lost or everything has just hit the fan. Then we pray through it and somehow we make it to the other side, with more insight and direction than before. And suddenly we don't need prayer so much and we don't need God so much and then magically I think we say the proverbial "I got this from here God" and we go about our lives making our own plans and leaving our creator completely out of the whole mix. That is until shit hits the fan again.
Ugh!!I I want to break this cycle so bad. So here I am in the midst of it. Having a pretty peaceful day and really just waiting for the other shoe to drop. I know it can't possibly stay this calm and then I remember, God brought me through this and he can sustain me. So my daily reminder is to keep praying and turning my thoughts to Him, and what he would have me do next. Because I know, that if I follow His plan the cycle will be broken.
It has been a minute since I last posted. Between starting vacation, coming back to work, starting a new class, and all the stuff in between it has been a crazy last couple weeks. The ups and downs have been real, and giving myself grace has been an even bigger struggle. So in an effort to take some of the pressure off I haven’t written in just about 4 weeks. But I am ready to get back at it. I love writing and sharing my thoughts on life and food! It has been one of the coolest things I have done in a long time; to put my thoughts down for others to read. SO, I am excited to be back. I have so much great food and mindfulness to share from the past 4 weeks!
To kick it off I want to share this awesome journey I started just this last weekend. It’s my 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training. Talk about exhausted. After a full work week and always a full family schedule this time wasn’t exactly, completely, 100% welcomed. Our training involves coming to your mat 3 times a week before Friday (so that means making time after or before work, which is 9-5, Mon-Thurs for an hour). Then 3 hours on Friday night, 7 hours on Saturday, and about 5 on Sunday for class and yoga. Did I say exhausting! However, now on the other side of the first weekend of training I can safely say it is all worth it. 7 weekends to go and 21 yoga classes to attend. So good, even if I am looking for excuses along the way…ha.
This past weekend we started into the history of yoga and a pretty great and continued discussion on mindfulness. The words that kept coming to mind for me were REVELING in the moment. I have to say I had not noticed how blue the sky was and how beautiful cloud formations are in a long time. Although, we did just return from a trip back to my hometown in Hawaii, and it’s never very hard to revel at the beauty of the islands…insert winky face. I am grateful for this time I am getting to ultimately exercise my mind. Through not just arriving on my mat to take time for myself, but the people that are taking this journey with me and the readings of the folks that have come before us. It is ever enlightening to work through different perspectives and walks of life. Thanking God for His guidance on my path and allowing those around me to remind me of all the little things that we have to be grateful for.
THANK YOU 405 Yoga Teacher Training for getting me out of my funk of last week and jumped started through to the next week.
Owned and operated by Whaley's Restaurant in Navy Yard Washington, DC. The little gem is a sweet spot for cool summer nights and tasty rose. Did the name give it away ;) A good friend of mine and I met up there on a Thursday night to catch up and imbibe a bit. The waiter was friendly and knowledgeable, which made making a choice on the bottle of rose very easy. We ended up getting the Clambake Rose to share. They offer a snack menu, to give the option for substance while imbibing. We got the crab toast and smoked salmon bites. So delicious! I was a little apprehensive about the toast, as I am not much of a crab person. But they did it right. No crabby taste to speak of. Very flavorful but not overwhelming. And the salmon bites....woof! So delectable! Set on cucumbers, this little treat was the perfect refreshing snack for a summer night with rose :)
What a sweet little find. This DC bakery, bar, restaurant is tucked in between 5th and 6th on the H Street Corridor. As you might notice, I will write a lot about restaurants that make their home on H Street in DC as this is our home. We do lots of cooking in our home, but Friday nights are our night to go out for a meal. So we load up the kiddos in the stroller and take a walk around the neighborhood. This particular Friday we landed at Fare Well. Little did we know when we walked in that we were walking into a vegan inspired restaurant. No matter. This place did not disappoint. From the breakfast that is served all day to the spiked shakes….Fare Well has created a sweet little niche for themselves. We also tried the Chiliquiles, Mexicali Burger, and Pancakes Napoleon. There wasn’t an ounce of animal product (ie. butter, milk, eggs, meat, etc.) in anything. And it was all AMAZING! Both the Chiliquiles and Mexicali Burger packed a spicy punch. The pancakes were perfect to cool down that spice. Only thing lacking was a sufficient amount of vanilla coconut whipped cream. It sure was tasty, but quite small in serving size. We wrapped up our experience with brownie ala mode. MMMMMM…finger licking good. Give this place a shot. I never though vegan could be so good! Oh and to top it off the service was amazingly kind and helpful. (psst. We got a table for 3 and room for our double stroller, with smiles to boot)
I am guilty. Guilty of being negative. Guilty of not looking for the positive. Guilty of not looking at life through the lens of what God wants for my life. I have been in quite a funk the last couple days, probably even weeks about where I have to go every day for work. My work day has gotten down right consumed by bitterness. I have been explaining this feeling away with “it is just the way it is for right now.” However, I was met with a swift smack on the noggin by the big guy upstairs about how wrong that line of thinking is yesterday.
Sidebar…I have not been a big reader throughout my life, but I have always liked to read. However, if you were to ask me how many books I read in a year prior to this year I would have said, maybe 1. Now ask me this year and I can say 5! I haven’t written recently about the books I have been reading, but I am going to rectify that. So much of how I have been changing and growing are due in large part to the exercises and food I have been giving my mind. The amazing words of the authors I have been consuming have been such a gift. From Franis Chan, to Brene Brown and up right now Joyce Meyer.
Alright, back to my story and how God gave me a swift smack into how my mind has been running amuck. Yesterday I started back into the book, Battlefield of the Mind Winning the Battle in Your Mind, by Joyce Meyer. The very first quote was from Proverbs 23:7 “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” Woof…talk about a dose of perspective. I proceeded with my day and happened into a meeting with a fellow colleague I had not seen for a while. I think God was throwing me a bone with this meeting. It was amazing the knowledge of circumstances he had that brought some peace about the past. But that wasn’t the end of God’s guiding hand. I then ran into folks that don’t normally work in my area. What a chance meeting this was.
I proceeded to talk to them about how I was feeling bitter abouthow I had been treated by work. They both could completely empathize; even with the feeling of bitterness over it. But then one of them said something so good and so right it was almost haunting. He said to me, “you know I don’t believe God wants anything bad or unjust to happen to us; however, sometimes he allows these things to happen to redirect the path you are on, because if not for that happening you probably would have never veered from that path. Which may need to happen in order for you to walk down the path he has planned for you. You see you don’t know what life has in store 3 years down the road, but He does.” MIND BLOWN! This really put me in my place. God’s plan is perfect. His lens is perfect. If we only stop to give Him our plans and allow His plans to take over He turns all works (good and bad) for our good. Living intentionally is key. Choosing the intentionality with each thought translate into each action.
God’s plan is so good for each of our lives. I am learning to get out of my own way every day. Thank you Lord for showing me!
I am a Christ follower, a wife, a mother of 3 boys and was an active duty member of the United States Air Force for 8 1/2 year. I medially retired in December 2018 from the Air Force and I know work as a Fitness and yoga instructor, I run the customer service experience for a local swim school and I am a Doula. I am also working on my Master's in social work.