Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Distraction-my sin of choice

Seeking me...Really, what was I thinking!

So most of the "comments" I receive from this blog come through email. I am not sure what that is about-why people don't comment right where there is a comment button, but whatever.. perhaps it is more personal, more private, and I get that for sure. I have made some nice connections with people through this blog thing and I like that.

Anyway... in talking with one of those people, something that she said really grabbed me.. I mean, light bulb, ahh moment, divine revelation-you know those moments....

So, as a result I am changing this blog and the blog name and all of that.. and given that I am not that frequent of a blogger, perhaps I will lose some readers-the ones that don't comment, just view. Maybe they won't be able to find me, but I will try to figure out some sort of re-routing thing. Those regulars-well, we email each other for the most part, so they'll get it...

Desperately seeking suzin....a popular 80s movie, which of course is where I got the title, but it's message and the point of this blog was in some small way to journal my quest for self-discovery. I know, sounds sort of "New Agey" and that really wasn't my intention, it is just that for many years, I have felt like someone with multiple personality, with two sets of lives, two sets of desires, two sets of values, and all polar opposite... So, I was thinking that through journaling and basically processing my thoughts through the written form.. well, that would help me merge the two worlds.

What I realized... with the help, of course, of some pretty great friends, is that I am seeking ME, and quite frankly, I am not who I should be seeking. Of course, I am still struggling, of course I am still working through things, of course I feel no more settled and secure that I did before this whole blog thing... I am most definitely seeking the wrong person....I have the wrong Autopilot!!!

Almost every discussion with friends, almost every message preached on Sunday, every Bible Study time, every book, every song, every "inner nudge" has been pointing to the same thing... I need to really forget about me and focus on Him-a deeper relationship, a more intentional seeking of His will, His desires, His values....This blog title in light of this revelation (which I realize is common sense if you are a Christian, but I cannot begin to tell you how deep this truth is for me right now and how radically it is changing my life.. and in ways I am not that comfortable with let me tell you, but that is a post for a different day..) seems almost sacreligious.

So, off I got to find something different. A new name, a new focus, new themes, more pictures... Yes, Jenny I heard you!!! Of course, I have to figure out how to do all of that, but hey, the one great thing about Gary not working out of the house is that he is pretty handy with all of this.....

Seeking something that most certainly is not me......


Monday, January 10, 2011

Hold Onto Your Kids!!!!

This book has completely changed the entire way I parent. I mean, I am pretty "smart" when it comes to this parenting thing. I taught parenting courses early in my social work career and studied child development, parenting approaches, and various family theories. When I say "smart" of course we know what that means-book smart. You have to remember, I taught parenting before I even had children!!! Who lets someone do that. I knew really nothing to be honest....

I spend my days now, as my side bar indicates, working with children who have been abused, suffered various traumas, etc. As a result, I have access to child psychologists and attend a variety of workshops and training. I am lucky in a sense, although I do talk often about how my work, specifically in attachment theory (which I fully subscribe to, by the way, and not the Dr. Sears version, but actually scientific attachment theory, but I digress...) completely messed up the first 6 months of my parenting journey, but that is a story for another time!!

Anyway, the program I work has the work of Daniel Hughes as our foundation, but lately, we have been studying and learning about the work of Gordan Neufeld. He wrote the book shown above, Hold Onto Your Kids. I saw him lecture in Ottawa about a year ago, then watched a DVD he has based on the book and then re-read the book again. It is so unbelievably life changing for me in terms of the response I give my children, specifically Mahone. Seamus we have parented following his approaches instinctively given his special needs and emotional sensitivities. Mahone however, we have not, and oh boy, what a difference it makes.

What he recommends takes work and takes a thick skin-there is nothing worse than being in public, having your child be disobedient and you not react in the way that is custom for our society-to actually not really react at all. Trust me, you would be surprised at the reactions from others your lack of reaction causes!!!! I know, I have heard it all in No Frills!!!!

Anyway, I highly recommend the book and the DVD. It is a heavy book in some ways and while some of it is "common sense" and very traditional and back to basics parenting, it totally is counter cultural and fantastic.

A blog I follow-The Parenting Passageway-has been reading the book and provides a summary of each chapter with some comments. I highly recommend anyone interested to look at that blog and the back entries for the chapters they have already reviewed. That particular blog is from a Waldorf perspective, but it is nicely matched with Neufeld's work. In fact, maybe that is why it reasonates so deep for me-he provides a researched theory and words to something I feel I have known instinctively.

I will say though, one thing I have really learned about myself is how ingrained certain patterns are for me and how even when I know better and fully believe in something different, when I am tired or stressed, I fall back on the same old routines and habits... This book is challenging my inconsistent nature let me tell you!!!!

Anyway, I could write/talk forever about this book, its principles and ideas... It is consuming so much of Gary and I's conversations, not to mention all that I talk about at work, and since this blog is supposed to be about me and my search for what is true to me, then I thought I should share!!



life savings...

Kevin from Home Alone (the movie): "Oh look, this is Buzz's life savings."

Mahone-watching his favorite movie that perhaps is inappropriate for his age: "What's life savings mama, money?"

Me: "yes, sort of like that."

Mahone: "sometimes life savings can be credit cards mama. Tomorrow let's buy our life savings."

Monday, January 3, 2011

Somewhere in The Middle

Perspective-a step in Life Makeover

Today, it is quiet here. Both children have started back to school/daycare and I have the day off. I worked hard on the weekend "dechristmasing" my home and organizing and cleaning so that I could puposefully do nothing today-a real day of relaxing before beginning work tomorrow.
This "doing nothing" really has got me thinking about perspective.

You see, while thinking about this day of no plans, no schedules, no kids... I began to feel guilty (in case you haven't already figured out, I am by nature, plagued with guilt over well, just about everything!!!!).... I thought that really I should have kept Mahone home to have a day just with him, or I should really tackle that spare room in the basement.. you know, the one that I can't open the door because I just keeping throwing things in.. or I should go out and get some household errands accomplished-groceries, the bank, the drug store!!! I even thought perhaps I should go into work and get organized for tomorrow.. Really, I should be productive with this day-I really shouldn't waste a free day....

Perspective: Doing nothing is not actually doing nothing!!!! I am resting, reading some amazing books on parenting, on spiritual growth, and fiction just for fun. I am going to make a nice lunch for myself that doesn't consist of whole wheat macaroni with butter and shredded cheese-the only thing Mahone and Seamus will eat for lunch lately, and quite frankly, I am a little tired of both making and eating!!! I will nourish my body with a little variety. I will journal some goals and some new rhythms and Gary and I will have an actual conversation that is not interrupted thirteen times by either Seamus or Mahone!!! doing nothing is actually doing something pretty important come to think of it.

This year has been a hard one. Seamus has struggled at school and at home for most of the year. He has been seen medically on a number of occassions and has had his meds adjusted a few times as well. He doesn't have the fun teacher, school work is becoming harder and harder and his very best friend has announced that he is moving back to Germany!!! Mahone transformed from my easy going, pleasant little guy, to my slighlty crazy, screaming, machine!!He was hard to toilet train, hard to wean off a bottle, the most distressing transition from a home based daycare to a center, three trips to emergency... well, tough!! Work has been unbelievably challenging this last year-things happening with the kids I work with that have actually shaken my core, causing me to question myself, my job. And of course home-Gary losing his job perhaps the most obvious, but really, a general theme of discontent and chaos the whole year.

Perspective: Having all of these experiences have taught me oh my, so much.. how not to take things and people for granted, how to really nurture my children and to really be attuned to their needs-because if I didn't look at their behavior and their struggles from a place of compassion...well, not sure how they or me would have survived!!! It has reignited my faith-"you never know Jesus is all you need until Jesus is all you have." Gary has been home these last couple of months and he has been able to help Seamus especially out with school and has been able to really connect with Mahone (imagine, Mahone is now actually asking for Gary sometimes-big for a real mama's boy). Gary and I have had to connect and support each other and really, we are unbelievably blessed!!!!

So we attend the same church as the person who fired my husband.... the same person, who without explanation, and very unexpectedly, told him he no longer had a job... the same person who refused to meet with him shortly after to allow Gary the opportunity to pitch an idea he had, to debrief, to feel at least a little respected in the whole matter. Yeah, that's a tough one!!!! Gary is not working yet-some amazing leads, but nothing until at least the end of January. I am sure once his focus in on something else, the sting of what he has lost will well..not sting as much, but right now, he is not there. So, attending church with this individual is difficult to say the very least. It is hard not to approach him and let him know the impact of his decision on our family, to look for answers, some days I want to thank him, other times I want to give him a piece of my mind...he also leads worship. Not every Sunday, but often...and guess what, he is so talented as a singer that I really enjoy when he leads worship... So in thinking about all of this, I knew that if he were to lead worship, I would have to walk out of the service. I would have to leave. I mean, really how do you worship when the person leading has devasted your husband, created a financial mess for your family and has caused such worry and upset!!!!

Perspective: I am not worshipping him. I am there to worship Christ.. Christ, who heals devasted hearts, who ensures our very needs are met, who has all dominion to give and take away, since everything is from Him anyway. The very Christ who comforts and soothes and who has a plan in all of this..even though right now, it is SO SO SO hard to see. I am not worshipping a human being, and certainly not him. I will say, it took a couple of deep breaths for me and there were a couple of times my mind wandered and I could not make eye contact with him, but I didn't walk out and my really focusing on the words and WHO I was singing for-well, it made the worship sweeter.

I could do on and on.... It really is just a shift in perspective. I am not saying that as if it is easy or even if it is automatic. It most certainly is not. I am not really a glass half full kind of person! What I know though is that I cannot wallow, I cannot keep my mind focused on all the struggle, the hardship, the negative.

My word for this year is RENEWAL. Renewing my mind, my spirit, my body, my relationships, my mothering, my work. A shift in perspective is for certain the first step.

Hey, it is only 10:35-lots already accomplished today if you ask me!!!!!!!!!