Today I Lived and You Did Too

today I lived

Today I was awakened by the sound of shuffling feet.
It was my early-bird riser in her big sister’s pajamas that drug across the floor.
I wanted to pull the covers over my head and feign sleep.
But instead I got up and made toaster waffles that she said tasted “divine.”
She kissed me with syrupy sweet lips.
Getting up wasn’t my first response. But I did it.
Today I lived.

Today she lost her shoes for the 37th time in two weeks.
It was right before we needed to head out the door.
I wanted to scream, to scold, to throw my hands in the air.
But instead I held her. I held her. My shoeless girl.
Together we found them wet with dew in the backyard and she whispered, “Sorry, I am forgetful, Mama.”
Being calm wasn’t my first response. But I did it.
Today I lived.

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In this space I call “Hands Free Mama,” I write about letting go of distraction to grasp what really matters. In my life, distraction comes in two forms: external and internal. And although I began this journey to break free of technology’s grip on my life, I found that my inner critic was just as effective at robbing my “moments that matter” as my electronic devices. So in honor of Mother’s Day, I offer some healing words. It is my hope that something written in this post will quiet the inner critic living inside a woman you love. Perhaps that woman is you or the one who shares your life. 

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For the woman who savors a backwards letter in childlike scrawl and secretly hopes “liberry” and “strawbabies” will never be pronounced correctly …

For the woman who crawls on achy knees into her child’s tiny bunk bed to read stories and inhale his just-bathed scent  …

For the woman who would prefer a dandelion bouquet carried in a dirt-filled palm over a dozen red roses in a crystal vase …

For the woman who cries at the sight of her child and cannot explain why …

For the woman who feels her awkward bulges and morning breath slowly dissipate when a cherub voice says, “You’re so pretty, Mama” …

For the woman who is never at a loss for words when it comes to defending her child …

For the woman whose babies will never, ever become too heavy to carry …

If this sounds like you, keep reading.

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You Deserve A Day

You deserve a day to dance with the one you love, in barefeet and soft grass with angels singing from above.

Mother’s Day is just around the corner. I know many moms and grandmothers will receive lovely gifts, gorgeous flowers, maybe even breakfast in bed. And let’s hope all mothers receive a break from any and all domestic duties!

But there is something from which most women never get a reprieve.

There is something that sticks with many women and mothers every single day of their life; and this “permanent fixture” prevents them from living in full and complete joy.

I am referring to that harsh, inner critic that lives and breathes in all of us, (some with voices louder than others).

I am talking about that negative, nagging voice that goes straight to our greatest insecurities, directly attacking our most vulnerable and tender places.

I am referring to the hurtful voice that we can never quite silence, no matter what age we are or how long or impressive our list of achievements.

But today, in honor of Mother’s Day, I am asking you to give one beautiful woman in your life a break from that voice.

And you have the power to do it.

For one woman today, you can replace the negative messages with words that are loving, accepting, and kind.

For one woman today, you can silence the mean and nasty inner critic and allow the voice of forgiveness, mercy and grace to speak.

“But how? I am not very good with words,” I can hear many of you say.

Not to worry, because words are my specialty. And I am honored to give them to you. The only condition is that you must share them with someone else.

These words are for any woman in your life who is a mother, has acted as a mother, or may one day become a mother.

This is for any woman you think deserves to have a little kindness, a little compassion, and a little love planted inside her heart to grow and flourish.

This is for any woman that comes to your mind as you read this.

This is for her…

You Deserve A Day

You deserve a day to feel beautiful in your own skin,
A day where certain body parts are neither too fat nor too thin.

You deserve a day to see your valued presence on this earth,
A day where age, weight, and IQ don’t determine your worth.

You deserve a day when you can speak your mind with ease,
A day where every dream you ever had is yours to seize.

You deserve a day where your thoughts go up like bright balloons,
A day without judgment and ridicule to last for many moons.

You deserve a day to feel good in the place you are,
A day to embrace your imperfections and heal your hidden scars.

You deserve a day to feel proud of the life you’ve made,
A day where regrets and past mistakes suddenly fade.

You deserve a day to be loved without restraint,
A day free from being judged as a sinner or a saint.

You belong in a valley with pink daffodils beneath your feet,
You belong in an orchard with apples tasty and sweet.

You belong on a lazy hammock with an icy cold drink in hand,
You belong in a field of yellow sunflowers fragrant and grand.

You belong in the sunshine and never in the rain,
You belong in a place of safety far from misery and pain.

You belong on an island with coconut breezes in your hair,
You belong in a peaceful sanctuary far from worry and care.

You belong in place of forgiveness and grace,
You belong with rays of hope shining on your face.

You deserve a day, if not one thousand more,
To be celebrated, appreciated, and lovingly adored.

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If you received this today:

Someone thinks you are beautiful.
Someone thinks you are amazing.
Someone’s heart beats for you.
Someone is grateful for your love.
Someone can’t imagine life without you.

May all these good things come to you simply because you have loved someone like a mother, and there is no greater gift than that.

Today’s challenge is one of my favorite Hands Free tactics which is called, “Take Time to Say It.” Someone came to mind while you read this. You know what to do. Click the “share” button below. Send it as a message of gratitude for all she has added to your life. This message is meant to be shared. Let her know that she deserves at least a day, if not one thousand more.