It’s been a little while since we’ve met on Sunday Morning. Life has been full to the brim. During these seasons, I choose to give myself grace and take a break, but I always feel pulled back here. So here I am back at it. It’s before 6 AM, and my house is quiet. School has just let out, and we are easing our way into summerbreak.
Summer break for working moms like me always feels somewhat daunting. I want my kids to have a magical summer, though I’m not quite sure what that means. I suppose it’s the summer that I’ve made up in my mind. But the reality is that I have to work, Bodey is home, and his needs make spontaneity difficult. The responsibilities of life keep humming.
This summer I’m trying to shift my thinking and be grateful for the gifts of summer. Getting up early to write is one of them. Not having to haul kids out of bed and race to two different schools each morning is a gift. Hearing their voices in the house, hugging them during the day, hearing them laugh and spend time together even if the arguing makes me crazy.
Fact is time races by and one day soon I will long to hear their footsteps upstairs while I’m working in my office. I won’t have to break up the arguing. Bodey won’t have both Blake and Chase home to spend time with him. They will be off pursuing their dreams. So this summer I’m prioritizing being present, living in the day that I am in, and being thankful for a looser schedule. I’ve made a list of the projects I need to move forward at work and a list of those that can wait until August. I’ve promised myself I won’t worry about those till then.
This summer my ten-year-old son Blake has decided to play on a baseball team. Blake is a late bloomer to team sports. Though we’ve encouraged him to try just about everything (and he has), his desire to take up team sports has been at his own pace. I am conscious of honoring the compass my children innately have inside of them. Though I offer advice, I also allow them to listen to their intuition. We talk about the difference between being afraid and just not interested, which can easily look like the same thing.
A couple of weeks ago Blake had his first game and his first up to bat. I was so nervous for him. During warm-up, I paid close attention to the pitcher. “Wow, he pitches with some heat,” I thought. I wasn’t sure Blake had been up to bat against a pitch that fast. But he needed to stand up and try. He committed to be there, so now my job was to cheer him on and let him do his thing.
Standing behind the fence at home plate, I started to think about how many times we don’t get up to bat because we are too scared. How many times we don’t leap or try the thing because we are too afraid of the competition. Since we don’t know everything that will come our way, we don’t even begin. But the truth remains, we will never hit a ball or accomplish a dream if we don’t grab that bat, stand in the batter’s box and take a swing.
For the last nearly two years, a vision or dream has been brewing in my heart. It started after the close of leading a Restoring a Mother’s Heart Retreat Weekend. I felt a call to set a wider table. It became clear that many of the topics we were teaching about on the retreat were topics that women everywhere need time to sort through. Identity, beliefs, learning to be still and listen, friendship, pursuing dreams, the desire for creativity, and more. I have also felt a shift as I’m raising and caring for Bodey. Though his story is different than Ethan’s, there is still grief, frustration, caregiver fatigue, and struggles with identity, pursuing dreams, and my continuous faith journey. I started thinking about friends of mine who have faced grief in other ways - a broken marriage, loneliness, an ill or special needs child, hopes deferred, financial struggle, a crisis of faith, and so much more.
For many years I found myself looking around sure that other people’s lives were easier than mine. If I’m honest, I felt jealous of their healthy kids, their more ordered family life, their freedom from illness, and the ability to pursue dreams. I looked at my life as one with deficits. The truth is, my assessment wasn’t all wrong. My daily life with a sick or disabled child is physically harder than that of a mom whose kids are well. But I don’t know all the details of her life, and so I needed to check myself.
Part of my healing process has evolved towards a strong embrace of my own life. It is clear to me that I am created for the life that I have. Yes, that includes two healthy children, two sick children, one who has died, the call to non-profit work, years of little sleep, feeling different than other moms, and the many years that have felt so very isolating. These valleys have also been calls to question and grow, question and grow, over and over again. Today I am so thankful for them (and I know there will be more). Because of these valleys, I live a rich life. Embracing the life I have is one of the single most powerful and empowering things that I have done.
I’m a lifelong learner. I will be seeking and growing until the day I take my last breath. I have not arrived. I am a work in progress. But as I continue to do the work of grief and growth, it is clearer than ever that I am called to teach and encourage women around me to do the same. To embrace the lives they have, to call forth their dreams, and to make an impact in their world. We are never made to hide our light. We are made to glow.
And so I’m getting up to bat. I’m stepping to the plate. I’m answering this call that has been knocking on my heart. On Saturday, November 9, 2019, I’ll be hosting Made For This, a workshop day for women located in the west loop of Chicago. I’m creating this along with my soul sister, Bridgett Piacenti. Throughout the summer I’ll be sharing a lot with you about this day. If you are interested, I hope you will mark your calendar.
This workshop day will be an opportunity to share with women who are growing in their own lives, who want to rekindle their spark, answer the calls of their hearts, pursue their dreams and make an impact in their worlds. This day will be highly interactive, so space will be limited. If you’d like to learn more, share your email with us here.
If something is brewing in your heart, I hope this might be the whisper or the kick in the pants you need to move in that direction. You are Made For This. If you aren’t following me on Instagram, please do, @jmlindberg. I’ll be posting about the event there too.
I’ll be back next week.