Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Being Extra Ordinary in an Extraordinary Family...

Every year our family goes to St. George Island, we now consider this place "our island". We stay in a house with all of us, and every year that number grows, as does our family. My family is extraordinary, which is fine except for the fact that I  am not. I am extra ordinary, which is total opposite of extraordinary.When you are emerged in a family with great dynamics, sometimes it can become
very difficult to see where or how you  you "fit".
 I drive a mini van, I live in a modest house, married my college sweetheart, and home school my children. I don't hold a high exec position, I don't have my own program,I don't speak around the world, and  if I were to look at my life this way, then yes, I am extra ordinary related to the extraordinary. Throughout the week, I was feeling that maybe I  needed to do something greater, or bigger so that I could be extraordinary too.. maybe I should stand out more, be outrageous, become famous, or discover a cure,but at the end of the day, I had decided that my simple life was just what is was, extra ordinary. So I started examining my own life,and I thought I would find, extra ordinary me, but when I looked closer, I found extraordinary.
What I have realized is that being extra ordinary, in its own way is extraordinary.I have been happily married to my husband for 18 years(extraordinary), I have been homeschooling my children successfully for 8 years(extraordinary), I have done a tough mudder, 8 triathlons, 1 half marathon and a dozen other races(extraordinary), I have owned my own company(extraordinary), I have written a children's book( extraordinary), I know who I am, but more importantly who I belong to (extraordinary), I have friends who love me(extraordinary) and I am loved and accepted by my entire family(extraordinary).
Maybe  extraordinary doesn't necessarily come from doing or being something great, maybe it comes from doing all of the "extra ordinary" daily things in my life.
It is in my extra ordinary teachings that I do with my children that they will remember. It is in my extra ordinary way I love my spouse, my children, family and friends that they all cherish. It is in the extra ordinary way I work diligently and give it my best that sets an example. It is in my extra ordinary commitment and faithfulness to my Heavenly Father,that becomes my testimony. It is in the extra ordinary way I listen to or encourage someone. You see,it is in my every day, extra ordinary, life that creates my extraordinary! Being extra ordinary is even in the word itself, Extraordinary.
We are all extraordinarily, extra ordinary. God does not create us to be anything less. His plan for my life, may look different from my families, but its His plan that is made perfect for me. Yes, everyone, in my family is extraordinary, even little ole extra ordinary Me!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Picking the Marshmallows

This morning I caught Liam dumping out his favorite cereal,fruit loops with marshmallows. I knew EXACTLY what he was doing. He was searching for his favorite part... the marshmallows. As I was watching him, I thought to myself, wow, I wish I could "dump" out all of my life cereal, and be left with only the marshmallows. You know the"good" stuff. The "sweet" stuff. The"fun" stuff. And leave all the "cereal" where it belongs, sitting in an open box, slightly stale and eventually someone will go by and throw it in the trash.
In his defense when the marshmallows were getting low, or he couldn't find one, he ate the cereal.. Not as enthusiastically, but he ate them nonetheless. He did it part because he saw me watching him, and part because, even at three, he knows that to really get to all the marshmallows, you do have to eat some of the cereal too. To find just the right color or flavor that he so desired, he would have to eat the cereal to get to the bottom of the box.
As an adult, I sat there thinking how simple it would be to leave the "cereal" and pick through the marshmallows of my own life . But, do I really want that? Although I think I would love for my life to only be happy, easy, exciting and fun, would I miss the trials, and tribulations that arise? I don't know. If I left those things behind, would the marshmallows taste as sweet? I believe at times I think and even long for only the "marshmallows", I mean who doesn't? Who wants to go willingly through the pain, struggles and worries that this life offers? I do not know anyone that would elect that over the the other. However, when it comes down to it, I know without the challenges in this life, I would miss the the things that have made it so filling and meaningful.
If I had never had to witness a death of a loved one, I would never know what it means to make every day count. If I had never felt the pain of childbirth, I would never have been blessed with my three children. If I had never known a loved one to struggle with alcohol,or abuse, I would never have learned compassion . If I had never struggled with loss of jobs,or loss of income, I would never have learned to manage my money well. And if I have never had any struggles, or hurts, I would never have had a reason to seek my Heavenly Father.
You see, I would love for my life to be all marshmallows, but if it were, I would have missed out on some key points in my life..These our things that  you don't, and won't find only eating the "sweet" stuff in your life.
At three, I only want Liam to eat the marshmallows, I don't mind. I am here to throw away all the leftover cereal. He deserves his life to be filled with marshmallows, right now. But, I do not wish that for him for the rest of his life. I want him, as for all my children, to fully live and feel this life, and with that you need to eat the cereal. When they are faced with a challenge, and overcome them, it will add growth to their life, but more importantly to their character.
 Next week I will be going to our annual St. George Island trip, with my whole family(aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews). And for this one week, I plan on picking out ALL the marshmallows, and eating only the "sweet" stuff..