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enough.

if i heard it once during my graduate training, i heard it fifty times: “every good counselor has a good counselor.” for you see counselors are actually people, too. and people have issues, regardless of their education, gender, race, upbringing, etc. so, towards the end of my graduate training, i followed this good advice and found my own counselor, which has been one of the best decisions i have ever made for my own well-being…

last week, i was meeting with said counselor and we began to have a conversation about worth and enough-ness. as i’ve said before, i am a huge fan of brene brown’s work–she was the first person in my life to put words to this topic and i haven’t been the same since reading/hearing them. brene talks about how we live in a culture of scarcity, under the myth of “never enough.” she says in one of her books that we can fill in the blank: “never _____ enough.” at first glance, i quickly filled in the blank: never damn enough. i read a little more and saw that that wasn’t exactly what she was going for…her examples were along the lines of “never thin enough” “never rich enough” “never rested enough” “never pretty enough” “never smart enough” etc. the truth of the matter, though, is that my initial filling in of the blank hit the nail right on the head for me. in so many areas of life, i feel that pull of just not quite being enough. when i am lam-blasted with photos on social media of how creative my friends are, how thin my friends are, how successful my friends are..i feel a drop in my stomach and a deep sense that i’m just not measuring up. and this is the deep shit my counselor and i talked about. brene says that our worth is not based on those things. we find our selves not suddenly worthy when we’ve dropped those 20 extra pounds… and not worthy when we finally finish that degree we’ve been working on for 5 years…and not suddenly worthy when we have all of our shit together (because, let’s face it, that’s what we are prone to think). nope, we are “worthy now. not if. not when. we are worthy of love and belonging now. right this minute. as is.” i’ve read that sentence so many times and still it brings tears to my eye as i type it. such profound relief. so, i share this thought with you today… you, my dear, are enough. 

currently reading

1. the patron saint of liars by anne patchett. this book grabbed me with it’s first paragraph and i am having a hard time putting it down!

2. running scared: fear, worry, and the God of rest by edward t. welsh. a while ago, a facebook friend posted that this book was free for the kindle. free is my kind of price, so i downloaded thinking i could check it out and see if it was any good. it seems to be a timely book for me–right to the heart of some issues in my own life…but it’s written in a gentle and kind way, so that it cuts right to the heart without being incredibly painful.

3. the casual vacancy by j.k. rowling. i have been listening to this book on audio on my long drives to and from work. i haven’t read any of rowling’s other books, but have heard that they are among the best audio books. so, i thought i’d give her a shot and try this first piece of her adult fiction. it’s raunchy and crass and so true to life. she doesn’t mind using dirty language and talking about the stuff people don’t usually talk about.

4. boundaries by cloud and townsend. i picked up this book from my shelf thinking it might be helpful for me to re-read it (i last read it in college) so that i could recommend it to a few clients. turns out, that is probably not going to happen. i know it’s a classic… i know it has some great points… but i feel like they grab Scriptures all over the place and apply them at random. i think i could find it easier to swallow if it didn’t happen like five times on every page. context, people, context!

5. happier at home by gretchen rubin. i’m trying to like this because brene likes it…so far, i’m struggling.

there is this idea that i keep hearing that i cannot get out of my head these days. i wrote it down on a sticky note and posted it above my computer because, the truth of the matter is, i don’t really want to get it out of my head. if you know me at all these days, you know that i’m stuck on brene brown. her works, thoughts, and ideas have seemed revolutionary to my thinking in some ways, yet at the same time, affirming truths i have always known. “perfection,” she says, “is the enemy of the good.” because i like to give credit where credit is rightly due, i think brene actually got this idea from gretchen rubin (the happiness project). the first time i heard this, i took pause to try to figure out exactly what was meant by such a statement. surely, i reasoned, perfection is the ally of the good, not the enemy. the good leads to perfection, if done right enough, or as should be done. but, then, i don’t really like “shoulds” all that much…shoulds are shaming. shoulds lead to white-washed tombs…pretty on the outside, dead on the inside. “I really should clean up the living room.” “I really should stick to my diet healthy eating plan.” “I really shouldn’t eat this whole bag of chips.” 

i rarely want to do what i “should” do… and i have in my head this grand idea of what things should be like. for instance, i love to craft. i love the feeling of making something with my own hands, creating something with it’s own little bit of me in it…however, i also love pinterest, often to a fault. i find myself many, many times filling up boards and boards with ideas of things i could create..but there is something within me that stops me from making so many of those things-the idea that my creation might not be as perfect as the one on pinterest. instead of leaning into the discomfort of possibly failing (and then ending up on this site, which is hilarious, btw), i just find myself NOT creating…despite the fact that i find it to be a life-giving activity. brene and gretchen would said that the one great creative endeavor i actually do is better than the hundreds i pin and never do… and the one mile that i actually go run/walk is better than the (2nd) marathon that i never train for or run…and the blog post that i wholeheartedly write once a month is better than the one i half-assedly never actually write every day. intending to do something, making a list to do something, thinking i really should do something..those aren’t worth anything. it’s only when i actually do something, even when it doesn’t turn out “perfectly” that i have truly succeeded. and that, my friend, is my deep thought for this day…

little z is three!

once upon a time, there was a little family of three. this was a dear little family, but not quite a whole little family…for it was missing a little princess and a littler prince (but we’ll save his story for another day). this little princess decided to make her way into this world bright and early on a saturday morning three years ago. from inside her mommy, she knocked on her tummy to let everyone know she was ready to come out. her mommy and daddy and big brother, noah, rushed to the hospital so excited about their little princess’s arrival. on their way, they called lots of people in their family to let them know little z would be coming soon. everyone in the family climbed out of their beds, got into their cars and drove to the hospital to be ready when little z came out of her mommy’s tummy. in no time at all, the doctor pulled little z out. her mommy and daddy were delighted to meet the most beautiful little girl in the world: their zoe grace. ever since that bright morning three years ago, she has been delighting everyone who meets her! 

Friday Favorites

1. I am currently obsessed with this line of clothing. Sure, it costs an arm and a leg–but wouldn’t Zoë look darling in it? (she wears a size 4 if anyone wants to help a sister out!)

2. A friend sent me this link recently and I’m afraid it describes me perfectly…maybe I should just embrace it?

3.I have been listening to an amazing book on my long drives to and from work. It is so beautifully written that I’m overwhelmed at times. It certainly makes my drive seem shorter.

4. We started the year off with this money guru. Any budgeting tips to encourage us in this walk?

5. Ryan and I have a new show obsession. If you haven’t seen this, cancel everything you have going on this week and check it out on Netflix!

i thought it was just me.

it has been so long since i have written on this blog that i almost feel like i need to just start a new one. the truth of the matter is, though, that i love the running start that this one provides–some background, some previous musings…so, i will give this whole thing another go.

as our little family was getting ready to go to church recently, we had what has become a common argument with Noah (4). he is quite particular about a number of things in life, most particular about his clothes. he, like most everyone, doesn’t like for clothes to be too itchy, or tags to be too pokey, or things to feel too hot…but he really, really doesn’t like for clothes to be too short. this is unfortunate because he is the son of a giant (or so little sister thinks) and has rapid growth spurts a few times a month, it seems. this wouldn’t be quite so much an issue if he didn’t, with almost the same amount of “really’s”, dislike clothes that were too long. you can see the problem here–if i try to buy something a little big so he’ll have some growing room (because that’s how the nixes do it), he gets upset because it’s too big/too long…if i don’t buy it big, it only lasts him like a week before it becomes too short. he has developed a quite interesting way of testing whether or not his shirts are too short in the torso. he gets on his knees and his elbows, almost as if he was about to shoot some marbles…if there is even the slightest amount of skin showing on his back when he does this or if he can sense that the tip of his underwear might be poking out and showing, he loses it. he cannot be seen in public (or in private) wearing such a ridiculous thing. additionally, of late, he has gotten hyper paranoid about the sleeve length of his shirt. the most recent argument i mentioned at the beginning of this paragraph was over said sleeve length. he put on a nice gingham long sleeve button-up shirt and it passed “the marble shooting” test perfectly. ryan and i got really excited, throwing high fives around like we had just won a championship game, only to see a distressed look on noah’s face. he could sense, it seems, that something still was just not quite right. he surprised us at that point by pulling a new test out of his sleeve (pun intended). he reached his arms out as far as he could and, to our dismay, began crying when his wrists poked out of his sleeves. he immediately began yelling that he could not (under any circumstances) where that shirt because it was too short. ryan and i, both trying to finish getting dressed ourselves and get out the door, scrambled to explain to him that everyone’s shirt did that. ryan put on a button-up shirt and showed noah how his did the same thing… i put on my jacket and proudly showed my wrists when i raised my arms. it took a lot of reassuring and encouraging, but somehow we made it out of the house without noah ripping his shirt off (it’s happened before)… and as i rode to church, i thought about a book title i came across from one of my favorite authors called i thought it was just me. it’s funny how much i’m like noah with my problems, sure that these things that are really bothering me, really making me uneasy…i thought it was just me that had some problems. turns out, it’s not. 

because i love this quote..

(and because i love brene brown who brought it to my attention first)…

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” Theodore Roosevelt

[samantha] and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day (grown-up edition)

my name’s samantha and i’m having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. i think i’ll move to the bahamas.

i woke up this morning to find that we were out of breakfast bars, so i had to make eggs for everyone and day old pancakes. noah tried to cut his own pancakes and spilled syrup all over the table. tucker pooped twice before eight o’clock. it’s been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. 

i was walking around, minding my own business, when z pointed and me and started saying, “four eyes! four eyes! mommy has four eyes!” she laughed and laughed, but i didn’t think it was funny at. all. it’s been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. i think i’ll move to the bahamas.

i ran into my room to try to catch the phone are i ran smack into a huge, wooden piece of furniture. i busted my little pinky toe and the one next to it. i’m pretty sure it’s broken. it’s been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

i went to the gym to work out and as i was dropping the kids off in childwatch, noah pointed to my stomach and said, “You have a really big tummy mommy!” I said, “Buddy, that’s not very nice.” He said, louder this time, “Mommy, you have a really big tummy!” I said, “Stop. Noah, don’t say that. It’s hurts Mommy’s feelings.” He kept saying it, louder and louder for the next minute…then said he thinks there might be a baby in there. But, there’s not. I’m having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. I think I’ll move to the Bahamas.

Then, we went to the grocery store because our house has no food in it. The kids asked if we could buy one of everything. We got to the check-out, and, as the cashier was ringing the last of my overflowing buggy of groceries, I realized I left my bank card in the other car after class the other night. I told the cashier she might need to stop ringing things up because I didn’t have enough cash and only had a nearly maxed out credit card (the school books have to be paid for some how!) and an old bank card from an account we never use. She didn’t listen. She kept ringing, the bagger kept bagging. I called Ryan to see if he could come, but he couldn’t. I scrounged up all of my cash and came up $56 short. As I tried the first card, Noah kept yelling “I want to push the green button!” and pushing it at all the wrong times. Meanwhile, Z was biting Tucker’s head and Tucker was screaming. Thankfully, the second card worked, but the experience was traumatic anyway. I’m having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. 

The aforementioned said bagger yanked the buggy from my hands when I tried to grab my hooligans to push to the car. I knew that the back of my van was full of kid stuff and wanted to carefully load my groceries around it. But he would have none. of it. When we got to the car and I opened the back, the stroller practically fell on top of me. He didn’t care, though. He started unloading the groceries. Bread, first. Peaches on top of that. Cans of beans on top of that. Top it off with a gallon of milk. And so on with the rest of the groceries. I love squished bread. It’s been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. I think I’ll move to the Bahamas.

It’s not even 3:00 and I want to go to bed. My husband keeps reminding me that they have bad days in the Bahamas, too…but I’m just not sure I believe him…