choices

The Beautiful Ordinary 

I’ve seen a few different posts floating around social media that seem to be written solely for the purpose of a giant YES! THIS! from the 20 or so people that already agree with it. 

Reasons why millennials aren’t having kids. The importance of DOING ALL THE THINGS before being weighed down by boring life. Life choices that seem unimaginable, argued for in the most degrading language, and desperate terms.

The hopelessness, the anger, the bitterness that poured out managed to shock me, and for several hours the words stuck in my heart, with a vague distate that anyone could write this way, never mind feel it.

Sometimes I think that our photo-filled, “adventure-seeking” world has forgotten how to live, because we’re all too busy running, impressing, buying. There’s this constant expectation that to be fulfilled we must be EXCITING!! Travel! Get a hobby! Try new things! Start a business! Be this, be that! And while we’re all running around trying to do everything and be everything, life is passing by without anyone actually living it.

 Excitement and adventure are good – one part of a well-balanced life. 

One part. Not the whole. 

Excitement without rest becomes stress. Adventure without routine becomes monotony. Self-focus without generosity becomes narcissism. 

Here, in my heart and my family, I am always looking for the balance. I’ve learned to say yes to some things and no to others. I’ve learned that calm in my own mind and soul inevitably trickles out into my home and the hearts around me. 

I look around me and see ordinary – everywhere. In our tiny home, our minimal possessions, our simple food, and our careful budget. I see the faces – all those little faces, and the face of the man I love – all these loved ones that are part of a life I’d dreamed of for so long.

For me, this ordinary life, motherhood, marriage – this is beautiful. In the ordinary, I have found love and a contentment I had never known.

 In this beautiful, ordinary life – I have found everything that matters most to me. 

Xoxo, 

Anna 

 

Happiness Now

 

“Happiness – not in another place, but this place… not for another hour, but for this hour.”

Sometimes bedtime is quiet and snuggly, with lullabies sung and stories read.

Aaaaand sometimes bedtime looks more like this, with wrestling brothers, my 3-year-old jump-dancing, and the baby left to watch the show from the floor.

Many nights, to be honest, I rush through the bedtime routine, anxious for that tiny break before the night time calls begin. (Even so, with all the calls for “water/kisses/one more/cozy me!!” multiplied by 4 it’s never quite as fast as I’d like! 😂)

  But some nights, their laughter is too precious to interrupt, and the minutes tick by with no one caring.

Happiness now, in this place, in this hour. Not tomorrow, or next year – now.

Because this moment is all I am promised with them, and in this moment, I choose love.

Xoxo,

Anna

Today, One Day, and Always

Today, my loves, your world is safe, secure. Today your worries are about things like what color cup you want, and who gets to choose our bedtime story. 

Your hearts, so fragile and yet so resilient, feel love strongly and forgive easily. Your notion of evil is from stories and those vaguely ominous “bad guys” in your play together are still nothing more than shadowy creatures in your mind. 

Today, when you cry, your tears are easily dried with cuddles and kisses. Your frustrations can be quickly sorted, your smiles frequently won. 

Today, I will hold your hand when we cross the busy street, I’ll slow my steps to walk beside you, and my heart will smile and cry with yours. 

My love is yours, unconditionally and always.

One day your world will feel much bigger. Evil will have names and faces, and sometimes they will not be as far away as you used to think. 

One day your hearts might feel a pain that seems unimaginable, or be overwhelmed with fear. 

One day the words faith, forgiveness, love, courage, and integrity will take on new meaning for you, as you discover how each one matters within your own hearts. 

You will, without doubt, find yourselves tested to the limits of your strength, and just when you think you cannot go on… you will find a way. It is the struggle and the beauty of life. 

One day your worries will be over financial or moral choices instead of cups, and disagreements will be over relationships, beliefs, jobs and politics instead of bedtime stories. 

But oh, my loves, some things will never change. 

My hands will always be ready to help you, my heart will smile and cry with yours and as you find your paths along this beautiful journey of life, my love will be yours – unconditionally and always!

Xoxo, Anna