What Mama’s Do

May 9th, 2020

I wasn’t aware of how important my mother was until she was gone. I loved her and I wanted her in my life but for most of our time together the relationship was toxic. She was toxic.

The older I’ve gotten, the more I see we’re all a little damaged and rough where we are usually needed most to be soft.

How do I know?

No matter how hard I tried or the effort put forth to be the best mom I could be, I fell terribly short. My good intentions to love sometimes came across as smothering. My discipline & even cheering on perhaps looked & felt more like butting in and control. My frustration or anger….just hurt.

Mother’s are a powerful force.

I can’t change a single thing, nor can my own mother whose been gone 7 years now. But I think I have a little idea of just how heavy the bag of regret can be when you’re looking back as a mom. For mine, she had a lifetime of abuse and hurt to carry. The last few months of her life, she righted many of her wrongs against me the only way she could — to say I’m sorry I hurt you.

Those hurts make a lot more sense to me at 53 years old. None of them were okay or acceptable but I see why she lived the way she did and I forgive. Her own torment spilled out onto me.

Still, I see how she loved me. I was her joy and not for one minute did she not think of me.

I’ve been a mother for 30 years. Not one minute has passed that I haven’t cherished the children God gave to me. Of all the things I’ve done or experienced in my life, being a mother has given me more joy and laughter than any other thing.

I think of them everyday. I let them go just as God had planned all along and I smile every time I think of them. They will always be mine and like me with my own mother, they will navigate the life we’ve lived together and decide for themselves what they will let go of and forgive and what they will cherish about my love for them.

It’s the circle of life for us all.

What Mama’s Do:

1. She holds us tight. In physical love & affection and in permanent residence in her heart.

2. She sacrifices her own life. She gives her portion for you even if you don’t really deserve it.

3. She hears & sees everything. She understands hurts and celebrates victories.

4. She protects. Her number #1 instinct is to cover you with her safe blanket and propel you into adulthood.

5. She smiles. From the moment she hears about you the joy cannot be contained. You’ll want that to see her smile more than you know after she’s gone.

6. She gives you boundaries. The only way she knows to help you is to reign you in where you want to run loose.

7. She’s your emotional backbone. Every feeling you don’t know what to do with, she’s there to help. Even if it’s just listening.

8. She will laugh at all your jokes. You’re funny to her and seeing you smile makes her heart jump.

9. She sees your strengths, weaknesses and files them accordingly in her mom heart. You can trust her to be honest with you.

10. She forgives. Her own frailty as a human reminds her that you’re just as prone to make mistakes.

I love you, Mom. I love you, Gavin – Ally & Gates. You are all the very best of me, forever. For that, I am so proud.

INFLUENCER

February 19th, 2020

Have you heard of this new JOB called influencer? It’s a real thing! It’s people who put themselves “out there” on the internet world, be it….Instagram, blogger or Youtube and get paid to show you how amazing their lives are while not doing much other than showing off very expensive clothing or fancypants travel. Some even do tippity-tap dance moves as a way to draw in followers and appear as if they are just normal every day people living their normal every day lives – like you & me. But they are far from normal and what they are doing is very calculated and exact. While they lure you in with their fun personalities or incredible makeup & clothes…what they are actually doing is hooking you into buying whatever they are representing and in return making big bank on your caving in to whatever product they are pushing out to their viewers/followers.

These influencer’s are being paid incredible amounts of money. Many of them left real careers that they spent years in college training for to make incomes that most of us could only dream of making. In turn, people are influenced by them.

But what kind of influence are they really spreading?

Well, I’ll tell you. The kind that focuses on success, fame and money. Oh they’ll post amazing content filled with beautiful pictures of sweet & happy family lives and they’ll even flash their huge success to the viewers by snapping shots of the kind of cars they drive and in front of exquisite doors to amazing homes. You, the reader see a glimpse of their success that way and can figure out rather easily just how “hard” they’ve worked to attain the status or thousands of followers they have. Some influencers even throw Jesus posts in, ya know…for the readers who they want to show that they really are blessed by God for what they do.

It’s really misleading, honestly.

The truth is that being an influencer isn’t a terrible thing. But at what point is that peddling perfection to a world looking for acceptance and happiness truthful? You don’t have to be a genius to recognize their lives are not perfect. Every person has stuff — struggles, fears and even failures. Many of these influencers main objective is to appear more incredible, more beautiful and even more important than they really are. This may seem a harsh observation and I get it that the world is looking for someone to follow.

I only wish instead of looking for more followers to make more money…that these women would become influencers for Christ. By genuinely pointing people to God instead of products. Imagine the power in that kind of influence.

Don’t misunderstand my intentions here. I’m not telling you to unfollow any beloved online stars. Surely, there is something about them attracting you to their business/platform. However, I would ask you to examine your interaction with them.

Three questions:

1. Does following an influencer make you feel inspired or depressed?

2. Does following an influencer build you up, make you more confident as a wife, mother/friend, child of God?

3. Does following an influencer bring you closer to God?

I only ask because I have young adult children and I listen to them closely when they talk about who they follow. What I see is defeat or sadness at the lifestyles these influencers push on young people. It’s a strange back & forth image for young women, especially. How can any regular person live up to such standards of success? It’s a bit distracting to me.

It cannot help but open us up to comparison. (Uhh, hello joy thief)

For the readers or followers of the many popular influencers out there — the message of perfect hair, extra gorgeous children and eye-catching mcmansions is a big fat lie. All of that takes work. It’s not an instantaneous jackpot! Which reminds me how easy it is to become very disenchanted with your own lifestyle and capabilities. Which then leads to the sad reality that your life is just not as good as those you see online.

I don’t call that influential. I would call that misleading and fake.

I learned a long time ago to stay in my own lane. Focus on what God has entrusted to me. To be thankful for every single moment of my life. What God has blessed me with is monumental in the grand scheme of things in this life. My number one job is to point others straight to Him and the salvation he offers freely to each of us.

My influence on this earth has nothing to do with expensive clothing or hot steamy sales going on at Nordstrom. My value, my goodness has nothing to do with gorgeous makeup or outrageous vacations to places most people will never go. It all comes from Christ and what I do with that matters to Him.

What I do with all that God has given me also matters to anyone watching. The world is looking and I want to influence every person I meet to know the God of my heart.

How about you?

Can Queenie Make a Comeback?

February 19th, 2020

Is this blog dead? Can it be resurrected into something amazing? A place where women can come and find rest & see the work of Jesus in an ordinary woman?

Pray for me. I’m praying for just that to happen through this bloggy vessel I’ve been given.

Love you reader friends,
Wanda

Why Am I So Dang Touchy?

August 13th, 2019

My whole life I’ve been called a drama queen. Bossy too. I’ve tried to tamp down all that is me for most of my life. That’s over 52 years, by the way. The reality of it is that I cannot change who I am. I am a highly sensitive person. I feel every feel. I am intuitive, discerning and I can read pretty much every other human like a giant lettered book. I see right through motives, I know when you’re lying and I can tell if you dig me or not….instantly. I am emotional and full of tenderness. I hate chaos, messes and stress feels like a chokehold on my very being. I love people but I need the safety and quiet of home. I want to go & see but if it’s crowded with people, I get so overwhelmed with anxiety that I want to melt down. I’m not weird, I swear it. I am confident and sure of myself, people don’t easily intimidate me. I love being social, but when I’m done….I am done. I have to go home to regroup. I need space but I also need interaction. I love smiling and I thrive on friendships and relationships in general. I want it all and at the same time….want it all to be quiet, peaceful and lovely.

I’m a highly sensitive person.

I know exactly where I got it, this super dose of sensitivity. My mother was the first person I can remember to show these powerful hard-to-understand emotions to me. She never knew she had it, but looking back on my life with her….I can see clearly, she was a HSP. She never liked noisy chaotic environments and she couldn’t handle too much stimuli or she would react in the most negative of ways. For most of her life, she felt everything amped up bigger than normal. A lot of the time she mismanaged all her emotions which is very easy to do when you’re not aware of the why you feel the things you do. She spent a lifetime, reacting or as some would say, over-reacting. Something I have done myself in order to just get by.

So, what the heck does HSP mean or look like? Highly sensitive people often “feel too much” and “feel too deep.” … High sensitivity can be defined as acute physical, mental, and emotional responses to external (social, environmental) or internal (intra-personal) stimuli. A highly sensitive person may be an introvert, an extrovert, or somewhere in between.

When I was a little girl, I would get my feelings hurt so easily. It didn’t take much to break me apart. Often my family would ridicule me or call me a drama queen. Part of being HSP is that extra boost of empath and this world is full of “stuff” that wrecks the feely feels of people like me. I’ve learned to avoid things that pull my heart to pieces; sad commercials, animal cruelty, pain of others, chaos, high stress… Still, it’s impossible to completely remove yourself from life.

Not sure what HSP really entails? Go here!

Highly Sensitive Person TEST

Another peek at an article on HSP, click here!

While I’m only at the beginning of understanding this about myself, I hope to use what I learn to be better not more annoying. Face it, the world isn’t catering to highly sensitive people and why should it? Life is tough for everyone, we’ve all gotta find the path to coping and functioning. I don’t know who else needs this kind of information but my prayer is that someone will find a path to the truth about themself and finally make use of that extra dose of sensitivity God gave them.

Finally, I’m not just being too sensitive and neither are you. We’re built a little different, that’s all. Let’s figure out how to use the superpower for good!

Body Language

June 25th, 2019

Did you know that the average woman smiles 62 times in a day and the average man smiles only 8 times? I admit that seems like a huge difference but I have to say it’s not surprising. Women tend to be held to a higher judgement when it comes to expression (IMO). If we didn’t smile several times a day, someone would ask us what’s the matter?

When you’re trying to connect with someone, I mean…really get their attention, how do you do it?

Do you smile when you speak?
Do you make eye contact and seem interested in what they are saying?
Do you look away as they speak?
Do you put down what you’re doing and lean in?
Do you make facial expressions? Frown, squint your eyes, furrow your brow?
Do you fold your arms?
Listen with an answer on the tip of your tongue?

Our bodies say way more than our mouths in just about every conversation throughout our day. Scary, huh? I’m cursed with an outgoing personality! It causes me to come on too strong a lot of the time. I blurt out exactly what’s on my mind (not always a good thing) and I’m honest to a dang fault. I also talk WITH MY HANDS!!! I have tried, really tried to keep from using them but those suckers come out a waving every time I’m in a good conversation with someone. I’m passionate and animated. Which can leave me with a feeling of “does this person NOT like me?”.

Body language is everything. It can heal relationships and it can wreck them. If you think about it, the way you carry yourself gives off a very important vibe regarding your inside emotions. If you’re mad, people are going to know it. If you are feeling warm and loving, they’ll know that too. Even people that are rather good at hiding their feelings show something isn’t alright through their body language. It may be a tiny glimpse but it will show in some way or another.

I heard recently that if we want to grow in our relationships, we have to be very aware of our body language. If we want to improve with our spouse or family….even outside relationships, we must reign in what our bodies are saying without us using our words.

For me, I know what I say with my facial expressions is key. I am my mother’s daughter. She never let you wonder how she was feeling and I tend to be just as bold. Shame on me! I regret picking up that habit. I can really love you and care about you…..and deeply wound you with just my facial response. It hurts me to admit. Sorry, family.

I don’t have a magic potion to this whole body language thing. But, I will take heart and I hope you do too…that what I say with my body matters. So, I will S L O W down and think as I’m speaking or listening to others. I will be more mindful of how I’m listening and what my body or face is saying when in a conversation. I will try to show interest, kindness and patience with my mind, heart and body. I want to make others feel loved and cherished, don’t you?

5 Ways to Use POSITIVE BODY LANGUAGE:

1. Smile. (This goes for men too)

2. Make eye contact. (I hate talking to shifty-eyed peeps)

3. Lean in. (This doesn’t mean invade another’s personal space)

4. Relax. (Don’t fidget, shift or wiggle around)

5. Show honest emotion. (Lying or deceit is easily detected)

Now, go on…get out there and be friendly!

Changing My View

June 24th, 2019

Do you know anybody not hurting or struggling in some way or another? I don’t. Every person has something. My something probably doesn’t look like your something….but, I can assure you both feel painful.

Just when I think I’m on the up…

A challenge appears.

I don’t care how good or easy your life is, hang on…something will come along and threaten your joy/peace/happiness. I’m not in a funk (today) but for a while now, I have wandered around in my own desert complaining about the bread & locusts. I know that I know what I know. There is someone somewhere hurting a whole lot more than me, always!

I wonder why we aren’t more tender to one another. Instead, we lose patience or shake our head in disbelief that you or I cannot dig our way out of the pit. Some pits are darker than others and I bet you get it when I say….I don’t want to be in the pit and I certainly don’t want to take anyone else in there with me.

My hubby and I have been climbing mountains a lot lately. Real ones not the kind that masquerade as life issues. Every time, we chug our way up…..clinging to the sides of the mountain! I hang on to my seat and cardoor as if either of them can save me if we happen to tumble over. I know they won’t but still I hang on for dear life. Sometimes, I even catch myself holding my breath.

I do the same sort of thing mentally when I am struggling. I squeeze harder to the issue threatening to bomb my comfort or peace. I roll it over & over in my head. I ‘what if’ it to death. I dwell, oh Lordy do I dwell! I get so wrapped up in MAKING whatever it is that hurts stop hurting that I hurt myself more. Sometimes, even taking others with me.

If you’ve ever made it to the top of a high mountain…you know how spectacular the view is once you’re there. Every time I finally hop out of my car and twirl around, I see it. Miles and miles of beauty, gorgeous land, animals…..life! All peacefully lying below as if I didn’t just come from that very location. Nothing’s changed except perspective.

The same goes for struggles. If I just change my perspective a tiny bit, everything that hurts begins to sting just a bit less. I see things that my lying eyes/heart missed while it was wrapped up in pain. Life begins to look a whole lot more wonderful.

Wherever your view is today, I promise….there is something wonderful in this life that God has JUST FOR YOU! Keep looking.

Lord

I believe everything is in your capable hands. You do not need me to worry or wring my hands over a single issue in this life. Thank you for taking care of every detail and not holding me responsible for what YOU have already planned for my life.

Amen