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The Art of Living Beautifully » Live with purpose. Live with faith. Live with beauty.

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Can you handle it?

2f30b53ac4d8c79f25e60b3cce1814d4My mom sent this devotion to me two months ago where it was immediately buried amongst 804 other emails. She asked several times if I had read it, and I (always embarrassed) said ‘no’ because I hadn’t had time. Or if I had had the time, I didn’t want to spend it reading emails.

This morning I set up in bed about 5 AM because I suddenly remembered something important I had forgotten to do last night, and felt such fury with myself for forgetting something so significant…again. I forget things ALL THE TIME right now. ALL.THE.TIME. After punching the mattress with both fists in a mock-tantrum, I huffed into my office and sat down at the computer to attempt to right the wrong I had created and then set to work riffling through all the emails. The hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of emails. They never end! And seem to constantly stare me down through the little red number on the email icon on my phone. 328   502   790    804!

Through angry tears I found this sweet, unassuming forward from my mom. Still sitting, waiting for me. Waiting patiently to be read without judgment or an accusatory finger pointing at me saying ‘I told you so.’

I remember when the boys finished school last May, I was excited about the prospect of a new Summer schedule: sleeping in, heading the gym whenever we wanted, swimming, playing with friends, coffee with other moms. Unfortunately we never really found our Summer groove. It was my first time having children home while trying to continue work on my blog and my Stella and Dot business. My daily to-do list was rarely marked through, but continued to grow, and every day quickly began to feel like a burden: What am I going to do with them today? How am I going to entertain them? Can they get cancer from too much TV? Too much Xbox? Too many snacks? Is my constantly distracted self going to send them straight to therapy as adults?

I often feel very alone in my struggle with motherhood. Loving them beyond myself or anything on the planet, yet feeling so stifled by them at times, and dealing with massive guilt that comes from feeling this way. I love them. I love Brian. I love The Art of Living Beautifully. I love Stella and Dot.  I love our home. I love my dear friends and family. How do I handle all these things well? And at the same time?

After finally reading the devotional, the lesson I’ve learned while writing and processing the way-too-many feelings I’m having at the moment is that my problem is not the inability to handle it all and handle it well. The problem lies in the fact that I haven’t been relying on the Lord to show me how to handle it. I have not been faithful with a quiet time. I have not read my Bible as I should–as I KNOW helps me to face my days with much more stability. I haven’t consciously relied on the Lord. I’ve tried to handle it. And lets be honest, I suck at handling it. I am the worst person in the world to handle things if I’m not relying on the Lord. Before you ever ask me to do anything maybe ask, Are you relying on the Lord right now? Because if not, I’m not going to ask you to do this.

Are you handling things without the Lord right now? How’s it going? Are you one Ninja Turtle away from an insane asylum?

Regardless of what we have in front of us…and trust me I know that spending the Summer with my two precious boys is about the lamest “problem” anyone on the planet has to deal with…but in whatever you find a challenge, I hope you will rely the Lord. Begin your day with a verse or two from your Bible. Scripture has a way of putting life into perspective, and creating in us a conscious desire to rely on Him.

I leave you now to dry some tears over a bit of Skylander drama–he can’t find the water trap. If he would put them back in the Skylander basket we wouldn’t have this problem. But I’m not here to say I told you so or point fingers. I’m here to dry tears, love him and remind him of what he already knows but just forgot. As my mom does for me still to this day.

-ciao for now-


  • Carolyn Cogbill - It’s so easy to drift away and takes constant refocusing to stay close to our God. Don’t beat yourself up. Just keep coming back. Remember, God loves you like you love your boys, only more so. You will always welcome them abs love them no matter what they do. So will He.ReplyCancel

  • Jill Hartsell - Beautifully written! I am so glad to read this today in the midst of TOO much stuff (that’s really just fluff)! I’m going to remind myself to rely!ReplyCancel

  • Mary Martha harper - This really touched a nerve with me!!! GREAT thoughts and a good reminder of where my mind and heart need to be each day in order to have a happy, complete life……….eyes focused on Christ!ReplyCancel

  • Katy - Brought me to tears…I’m with you sister. Lots of love-ReplyCancel

  • Laura - Sooo true. We get caught up in trying to be perfect and have control over everything. Let it go, rely on the heavenly father and just be.ReplyCancel

  • Sara Long - You are a wonderful momma and your dad and I are so proud of the woman,wife and mother you are!ReplyCancel

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