The Girl With the Pretty Face

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Today was a good day. It was busy, but extremely productive and I got to spend most of it with my youngest daughter, Kennadee. “Keekee” and I began our day at her doctor’s office for her annual sport’s physical. Softball conditioning begins next week, and so it was imperative that this task be completed prior to returning to school on Monday.

Keekee does not like the doctor. In fact, it would not be an understatement to say that it is her least favorite destination. And, since we moved, this was her first visit to a new doctor, in a new medical office, in a new city. She was nervous. And since it is the tail end of the holiday season, she was less than pleased when the nurse announced her weight and her five pound weight gain. She was embarrassed. She was even more uncomfortable when the nurse told her she had to put on a gown, without her outer clothing. Thank goodness she was able to leave on her sports bra and undies!

I watched my daughter become more and more uncomfortable as she waited for the doctor to enter the room. I tried to reassure her that everything would be okay and that she had nothing to be embarrassed about. It was clear that Kennadee was uncomfortable in her own skin and my heart was breaking for her. I was her and she was me at that age. I weighed more than most fourteen year olds and I wanted to be anyone else but me at her age.

A flood of painful memories clouded my brain and I tried hard not to cry. It’s funny how certain places can evoke memories and suddenly I was reliving one of two doctor visits that my dad attended with me. What started as a water fight on a hot summer’s day, ended up with a trip to the emergency room and seventeen stitches in my elbow and tendons. The stitches weren’t the worst part of that visit. The most excruciating event of that day was when the ER nurse announced my weight out loud and my dad heard. Oh my gosh, I wanted to die! I remember being absolutely mortified and even more so when he launched into his speech that went something like this, “Damn, Kristen. You have such as pretty face. You would be so pretty if you just lost some of that poundage.” Is “poundage” even a word? I should google that.

It wasn’t the first time I had heard that “pep talk” and it certainly wouldn’t be the last. I can say with absolute certainty that none of his comments ever motivated me to lose weight. In fact, most of the time, they did the opposite. And on that particular day, I couldn’t wait to get home so that I could  “eat my feelings.” And I did just that to the tune of two boxes of macaroni and cheese and half a gallon of cookies n’ cream ice cream. That would show him not to mess with me again. At least that’s what I told myself. And something else I told myself was that I would NEVER “encourage” my children the way my dad “encouraged” me. Never. Ever.

Flashforward to present day. During that 10-minute wait for the doctor, Kennadee and I discussed how we had both fallen off the healthy eating wagon and how we would begin getting healthy with our eating and exercise that very afternoon. Today, not tomorrow, but today. By the time the doctor walked into that room, everything had shifted. She wasn’t happy that she was nearly naked under her gown, I mean, who enjoys that? But she was comfortable with the fact that we had both committed to getting healthy and being who God created us to be. What was even better was that my girl and I would do this together.

I would be remiss if I failed to mention that Keekee is an absolute baller when it comes to softball. She has the heart of a champion and up until last season, played baseball because she hates the “drama” involved in softball. She’s a lefty and she pitches, plays first base and has an amazing bat. The girl is good and I don’t want to brag and toot her horn, but “beep beep!” This momma is proud of her girl and I took the opportunity in the doctor’s office to remind her of that.

After her appointment, instead of going through a fast-food drive-thru, we headed up the hill to our house, where we made turkey sandwiches on wheat bread. We sat at the dining room table and continued to laugh and talk about life and how excited we both were for her first season of high school softball.

Yes. Today was a great day. My daughter and I are beautiful and my hope is that neither one of us will let the numbers on a scale say otherwise. As parents, we should remember that our words have power and once spoken, cannot be taken back. Today, my positive words had power. I hope that she never forgets today; I know I won’t. My cup runneth over.

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Hello my Name is Kristen & I am a Mother Hen

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Have you ever had one of those mornings when you just wanted to go back to bed and pull the covers over your head? Of course you have. I mean, none of us are perfect, right?

We had one of those mornings in the Witt household today. In my family, I am the self-proclaimed “peacemaker.” By self-proclaimed I mean that without me, the fireworks and arguing would continue until there were mass casualties; be that physically, emotionally or mentally. Feelings get hurt, pride rears it’s ugly head and sometimes harsh words are spoken. Siblings fight, parents argue, even the dogs get involved on a daily basis. And so usually, “Mother Hen” (thats me) swoops in and saves the day. I know that when my husband calls me by this title, it is definitely not a term of endearment. But, guess what? I chose to make it a title of honor  and I am considering getting a blinged out shirt to wear so that anyone who needs my mother hen services will feel comfortable asking for them. I would most definitely begin every session by reminding everyone involved that words hurt and once spoken, cannot be sucked back in and swallowed. Food for thought, right?

Though it’s been a festive Christmas season, things have been a bit tense at times around the Witt homestead. My oldest son is home from college and at the ripe old age of 22, seems to think he knows everything. He’s an “adult” now and should be treated as such. The fleshy part of me wants to belly laugh and bill him for his cell phone, insurance, etc. But, alas, I will not and patiently wait for the day when he has his own 22 year old son who thinks he knows it all. Oh, won’t that be sweet revenge, um I mean reality. (Insert evil laugh here.)

After the fireworks and waterworks this morning, I retired to my room to regain my sanity and I will admit, had a brief pity party. Thankfully, I sold my shares of the winery, so I kept my wits about me. (Pun intended.) I had a cry, more like a hysterical sob and thought about who I could call in this crisis situation that would make me feel better and validate the way I was feeling. Well, no one RSVP’d to my party, so I cried out to God. “Why is this happening? How come I don’t have parents who love me to walk me through crappy situations? What have I done to deserve this? I’m sick of this, God!” A lot more was said, but you get the idea.

I think I must have just tuckered myself out with all of the crying and dialoging because I finally just laid on my bed and listened for God to answer me. “Well, God. I’m waiting.” Ya, let’s not be sassy with God. “Okay, Lord. I love you and I know that You love me. Please walk me through what to do here. I want to do it Your way because mine doesn’t work.” Instant peace. I’m not even kidding. Total peace and comfort. Hmmm…

I glanced over at my nightstand and low and behold, was my daily devotional for spiritual warfare. I turned to December 27th and read the message and the prayer. The scripture covered Isaiah 40:1-5,11 and though I read it all and every word applied to the way I was feeling, one part really saturated my heart. “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength’ they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

Wait. What? My pity party was unnecessary? My God will renew my strength, as long as I seek him first and not try to do everything on my own and in my own power? I already knew this, but somehow in the chaos of the morning, I shut God out and thought I could do it better on my own. Imagine how much more smoothly my household would have run and how much less exhausting my Mother Hen session would have been had I allowed God to work through me. Wow. Yes, I want to run and not grow weary; I mean after all, being married to Ken, having four kids and teaching full time has me in a constant marathon. I need my Heavenly Father and not just when I’m in full meltdown mode. It’s time to be proactive in the Word and not reactive to life. Oh, that’s good; maybe even blinged out t-shirt status good.

Good talk, Lord. Thanks. So, with a smile on my face and my Christmas pajamas and messy hair in place, I proceeded to walk down the hall and pour a cup of coffee. I was refreshed, renewed and rejuvenated. Chisholm remarked that I looked “a lot better” and I told him that Jesus and I had a meeting and it went well. He just smiled and said, “That’s good mom.” I smiled back and hugged him.

Something else that should be mentioned is that even though I thought I needed to “vent” to friends following the fireworks, no one was available to validate my craziness. And that’s good. This opened the door for some much needed dialogue with God because Lord knows, I needed to be straightened out before I could even attempt to straighten out others.

This Mother Hen has learned a valuable lesson. I definitely don’t want to put all my “eggs” in my own basket because that just leads to scrambled eggs, shells included. No, I want to “co-hen” with Jesus. I know that in the future, we are going to fix up some seriously delectable omelets; shells not included. Be blessed friends.

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Trading My Sorrows (once & for all)…

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This Christmas vacation has been the best one I’ve had in years. For the past couple of years and for numerous reasons, I just was not in the Christmas spirit. It seemed that no matter how many pep talks I gave myself, or how many to-do lists I drafted, I just couldn’t bring myself to go gung-ho, ho, ho into the Christmas season. Much to the dismay of my family, we were lucky if I got the tree up the week before Christmas. Decorating the house was a chore and in all honesty, probably would not have gotten done had it not been for my children. I know, not fair right? Still, though I knew this, I just wasn’t in the mood, so to speak.

I would be lying if I said that my kids went without materialistically where Christmas was concerned. “Santa” was always abundantly generous with all four of them. That was never the issue. The problem was that with each passing Christmas, I became emotionally unattached and vacant. I seemed to always get sucked into a pit party for myself when it came to thinking about family during the holidays and I let the absence of my own parents handicap what I had always hoped to create for my own. Let me be clear, my parents are not dead, they simply have chosen not to be a part of my life and by osmosis, the lives of my children. This is certainly a subject we will touch on in later blog entries, but for now that’s all I will mention.

Though I have always loved the Lord, I have always had a problem with allowing Him to love me unconditionally. If my own father was unable to to this, why would my Heavenly Father want to? So ruled by this mentality, I allowed the darkness to overtake me and it seemed to intensify during the holidays. Though I always had grand plans to celebrate Christmas, clean and organize my house and even start a blog over the Christmas vacation, it seemed that none of this ever came to fruition. My days consisted of laying in bed, watching reality television and dare I say, having many afternoon Chardonnay cocktails. So, rather than seeking Jesus, I chose to drown my sorrows in the liquid depressant of alcohol. There, I said it, the cat is out of the bag. I’m not proud of it, but I’m owning it.

So, why is this Christmas different? How is this Christmas different? First and foremost, the winery is shut down. Instead of chatting with a glass of wine, I’m having constant dialogue with my Heavenly Father and I feel fantastic. I am allowing myself to experience my feelings, but I am not letting them dictate how I live. By a twist of fate, or what I like to call actual faith, I was introduced to doTerra essential oils and it has changed my life. The body has an amazing ability to “heal thyself” when given the opportunity. It is simply inspiring!

I purchased our tree in November through a school fundraiser and it was decorated the first weekend of December. Our house looks like a winter wonderland and the Christmas spirit has thrived this season. The kids and I even baked treats and delivered them to our new neighbors and community members! Yes, I made things from scratch and actually enjoyed it! Woot woot!

This morning, after stockings, of course, the kids prepared our traditional Christmas morning breakfast and actually served it to me in bed.  I was so surprised and incredibly thankful!  Tonight’s dinner will be spent in our new dining room and the twice baked potatoes being served were created by my own hands…solo. Can you believe it? In about an hour, we will open presents and I am fighting back the tears because I am so thankful to have rediscovered the joy of Christmas. God is good, all the time.

I would be lying if i said that I wasn’t super excited about finally starting a blog. I love to write and have put my creative juices on the shelf for far too long. And, even though I teach writing everyday, I buried my love of putting pen on paper, or fingers on a keyboard for many years. So today, right now, I have metaphorically blown the dust off of the typewriter and have been reborn. I am excited.

I saw a meme of Facebook last night that I believe will be the theme or motivation for this blog. It read, “One day soon these trials will be in the past & you will be telling an incredible story.” And there it is. Each of us has many incredible stories that can either stay a mess, or become our message. Tests can either drown us, or they can become our testimonies. So today, I am making the choice to open my heart and send out messages and testimonies that will hopefully help others. Isn’t that what life is all about?

Merry Christmas.

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