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January 20, 2010

My Defining Moment

I never knew a booger could shed light on my parental apathy.

Now hear me out before I launch into my saga of a "DEFINING MOMENT."

I am not a fan of bathroom, bodily function humor. My blog is mainly about me, my girls, a dash of crafty, and a whole lot of random. So please know I am not willing to talk about disgusting things at length yet I must tell you that this booger possibly should be framed or at least put in a time capsule as a reminder to the moment reality sunk in.

The date: Today
The time: Approaching the highly anticipated (by me) nap time
Where: In my van with a sleeping 18 month old and a chatty 3 year old.
What: I offer my oldest some animal crackers to quiet the chattiness that quite frankly was making my teeth hurt a tad. Typically, she makes me laugh when we are in the car in that she delights in the mundane. Like buses. Piles of dirt. A wadded up napkin on the console. You know. Thrilling sights such as these. But today it was the same question over and over...

"Are we there yet?"
"Mommy, what's that?"

She may change the sequence but not the questions.

The Moment:
I am surprised she is not eager for this sustenance that comes from her nurturing mother's hand. Stale animal crackers dug out of the bottom of the bag. Instead, I hear silence. As I turn, I see the telltale sign of the naughty, no no, nostril probing. She is rolling something between her forefinger and thumb and knows she has been caught.

"Hey, Cate. What's that?"

"A boogie."

"Huh. Well, um do you need a tissue?"

"No thanks. I just threw it on the floor."

" Okay, but next time ask me for a tissue. Cuz that's kinda icky."

"Um, no thanks. It's fine on the floor."


It is this moment it dawns on me that this is one of many things I just let go because I am too weary for words. Daily, I feel overwhelmed and yet the realization comes like the dawning of the sun (look at me...I'm like a melancholy poet...and a bad one who uses cliches)...

A booger has made me see the light.

But is it not funny how I can see the light yet action is a long time coming? How about each day I want to spend time in the Word and I am lucky if I know where my bible is...typically it is in my purse from the previous Sunday service or the last bible study. Whenever that was. Yet I know to impart truth to my girls, I need to live it, not just tell it.

Then there is the way I manage my time. All my life I have not managed my time effectively. I was an excellent procrastinator...I AM an excellent procrastinator. But when it was at my own expense it was easier and I could fly by the seat of my pants. Now it will be at the expense of my husband. My girls. My home. My parenting. You get it.

I can get obsessed with my blog. Seriously. I vacillate between being obsessed with it and wanting to just delete it, live a primitive life somewhere in the woods and sew dresses for my girls out of leaves and grass. Because in the long run, my family is all that matters. If I were on my death bed, I really don't picture myself grasping at the air, straining to speak intelligible words and uttering this last request...

"Please...(gasp)...please, just bring me my laptop. (More gasping)...Just one more post. One more follower friend. Pleeeease. My last request, I beg you!"


Yet, I focus on how I feel. Selfishly. Do I need to focus on me at times? Of course! But I also know what God tells me to do daily. Pick up my cross and follow Him. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit but consider others better than myself. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Do all things without complaining or arguing. Considering my trials pure joy since it develops perseverance.

I say all this to you here not for advice or help. And I don't say that with pride. So many precious people want to offer up advice at a time when sometimes encouragement and a listening ear is needed. Yet we are doers and want to help others often especially when we know what has worked for ourselves.

But I say all this because this mommy thing is hard. Harder than I ever anticipated. And I am wondering if any of you are with me. Do you see others and think they have it together which only further amplifies your feelings that you do NOT? Often I hear people tell me to enjoy my girls NOW because its fleeting. I get that. I really do. But how do I enjoy in the moment when there is whining, sassiness, tantrums, etc? I know this advice comes from people of wisdom who see the trials to come and in comparison see how much easier it is when they are young. Or see how fast time goes and they are gone before we know it. I get it. I really, really do.

But here is my dilemma. I know the answers. The right ones. I know what I should do. But the evilness of apathy has covered me like a mantle. And in all honesty, this seems a scarier place than defiance or stubborn pride. Because with apathy comes a nonchalance to life. I know I am not depressed. But when I am overwhelmed I shut down. I crash like this stupid computer that beckons me more often than I care to admit. I escape to non thinking things. But I digress because I feel I am droning on and on.

So I am hoping to focus on what is important.

  1. Give God all of me instead of making Him a 911 call when I am at the end of myself.
  2. I have stopped trying to be perfect. But I am still trying to be the best. I need to cool it and do MY best.
  3. Accept failures as mistakes and minor setbacks. Not reasons to hoover an entire box of cereal.
  4. Pray for kindness and patience with my girls. Heck, all human beings.
  5. To remember my blog is a wonderful outlet and hobby but not more important than watching my girls hoola hoop.
I know today's post was a heavier one but I needed to vent. And the girls are napping by the way.

I want you all to know that you are beyond precious to me. I think it is crazy amazing that you all are friends I have not laid eyes upon and yet I so look forward to hearing from you.

So that's it. Just sharing a defining moment care of my daughter's nostril goo.

Oh I forgot # 6. Always leave a box of tissues in the car. Always.


  1. Jessica ~ This is by far the best thing, out of all the wonderful things, you have written. It is real and raw and true. For you. For me. For many. You are on the right track and you know where the steam to run your engine comes from.

    I can say I love you and mean it because we are sisters. We have the same Father who loves us both ... even when we turn our back on the boogers of this world. He knows there are plenty more where that one came from and He always gives us a new day until it's time to go home.

    Thank you for being real and being you.

  2. I am with you and It is okay to vent, Motherhood is a long journey.I am with you and I am listening, and I hear you!!!!Motherhood is a long journey and there are ups and downs and Joy and Sorrows...But... How blessed are we to have children who Love us even when we may think we are failing them. If you think about it... children are the greatest example of unconditional love...Just like Jesus. They don't expect us to be perfect because they don't know what perfection is until we teach them. Just A Thought...I enjoyed your story! Thanks for sharing...Deborah God Bless Mothers

  3. Hey, maybe you have just learned how to pick your battles! Now if she had been picking her nose with a knife she had grabbed out of the utensil drawer on the way out of the house that would have been a different story!
    Sometimes we have to just laugh, huh? your not alone in this.
    By the way, my 8 year old daughters dresser is covered in boogers, she lays in bed at night and picks her nose and wipes them on the side of her dresser. I know it's disgusting, but I have so many other things calling my name!!

  4. Jessica...I just LOVE you! I often think of the words of older mothers saying..."fleeting...enjoy this time" And I just have to say..."This is all I can do, and that's enough." I ended up getting off Facebook because it was so addicting. The blogging is SO different though, because like you, and many other mommies, being able to share our stuff, encourage eachother in our struggles...that, btw, are ALL the same! And being able to "visit" with one another with photos and beauty, it has become a tool of our Lord Jesus to give me a life preserver in this journey through motherhood and a rock to stand on as I establish myself as a true Proverbs 31 wife and mother. I have my 5 little ones, and my youngest, Liliana is'd think I'd have it down by now, but NO! It's the same as my first, Caela...and the hard thing is to be persistant, daily "working" unto the Glory of God as we raise these little ones who we wish could just do a simple task, listen, obey, not cry bloody murder at the word "no" EVERY TIME! = )

    And in regards to time with our Saviour, Jesus, this past week I have diligently stepped into my "first fruits of day" to be with my Lord and WOW!!!!!!!!!!! He honors even a few minutes of "acknowledging Him" and it has made a WORLD of difference in my time management, discipline, attitude, on and on and on.

    Jessica, thank you for sharing...and if you ever feel like it's a bother to "vent", that's a lie, because it's fun to laugh as I read posts like yours knowing we are all in this Mom is perfect and has it together, they may seem to, but they are establishing themselves and making choices that, like you said, need to happen to bless their families, can't continue in our own selfishness when we have little ones to raise. Hard lesson for ALL OF US! = )

    Much love, my friend!

  5. Jessica, did you mean you laughed at the knife up the nose comment? I was worried I had crossed the line and was offensive. relief..

  6. Jessica, I so missed you at Bible study tonight because I wanted to share with you how much I love your blog. You are a gift to so many because of your openness and truth. I tried to just "listen" today, but because I have no self control when it comes to "the Mommie guilties" I have to share...

    Every mom who is REAL, true and loving struggles with the "guilt" of being a mom. We want so much for our children that it pains us when they don't behave in the way we are raising them or when we don't behave the way we think a "good mom" ought to. Frequently I used to cry to my mom when my children were your children's ages (they are now 16,11 & 9)that I had to be the worst mom on the planet and that I had to be messing up my kids heads. Same as you, I wasn't depressed, just overwhelmed by the huge responsibility I placed solely on my shoulders. Sometimes I would behave in such a way that I had to remind myself who the adult was in the room. BTW, I still have moments like that. They just don't come as frequently as they did when my kids were younger.

    This is a SEASON. Enjoy the good parts and learn from the parts you aren't proud of. Your kids are almost totally dependent on you for everything, leaving very little time for anything, but them. That is sometimes an overwhelming burden, yes burden. I threw a party for myself when all my kids could get their own breakfast if they had to, dress themselves, etc...and I actually had some "me" time. Your kids will learn these things too, I promise and I want an invitation to your party! :)

    I am now in the season of "you must take a shower, you stink!", "doing homework is not an option", & "Really? Was it that dramatic?" to "Sweetie, I'm sure Suzie still wants to be your friend", "We need to talk about the changes happening to your body" & "I'm sorry that she broke up with you, it won't hurt forever." Each season has its laughs and its stresses!

    You are a fantastic mother, I can feel it your words. You lead with a LOVE in your heart for your children. You honestly can't be wrong when you do that. Are you going to make mistakes...YES! Are you going to have periods of apathy...YES! Are you normal...OH YES, YES, YES!

    We read tonight about when the Isrealites had been freed from Egypt and were in the desert. The Isrealites whined and complained about all the negatives of their situation. How quickly they had forgotten about all the wonderful miracles that God had just done before their very eyes. I think when we as moms get a case of the "mommie guilties" we tend to forget all times when we WEREN'T apathetic, lazy, selfish, etc. Hang in there. You are doing a great job!! Moms do need to stick together and be REAL, like you!

    God Bless you sweet mom! Kim

  7. I LOVED #5!
    Sometimes I forget this too!

  8. You are all such lovely, lovely friends with encouraging, uplifting words for me! I am so blessed! And such wisdom...thank you.

    Oh and Kim, I was not at bible study because hubster and I just started the Growing Kids God's way class on Monday nights with is for 18 weeks! AHHHH! It is also a requirement for North Bay Christian. So last night I armed myself with a bag of crafts and hung out in the church lobby while Cati was at cubbies. I think I am sitting out on this bible study session.

    Lots of love to all of you!

  9. Wow, I love what one said about "picking" your battles. This mommy thing just flat our sux some days and there is just us, eachother to get through some of the roughest days. I wonder what my day would be like if I didn't have you or Pam to get me through it. I love my children and every bit of them, but sometimes the boggers are just too much!

  10. I just happened to stumble upon your blog, and while reading this post couldn't help but wondering how you got into my head. I have the same exact feelings and way too often wonder what I've gotten myself into with this Mommy thing. Thanks for venting, and I look forward to following your blog!

  11. I LOVE this post! I recently found your blog, and I love the mix of crafts, musings, pictures, and stories that you give. I would really want you to be my real life friend, but you would be ther friend that I thought had it all together, so I might be a little intimidated.

    I just started blogging, and I know many of my girlfriends would love your blog. May I share it on my blog? I'm not sure what the blogging code of minding our manners is, so please forgive horrible breaches of etiquette if this is very rude.

    Also, I tried to leave a comment earlier (when I was supposed to be doing yoga in my living room with a DVD....but it turns out, that after 4 weeks, I still really hate yoga), but I'm not seeing it, so I'm sorry if this has been sent twice!

    Happy writing,

  12. Beautiful & very powerful! Your post talked about everything I think about constantly, but am just so frustrated with myself that my brain goes into overdrive & I shut down! Did you read my diary? LOL! I feel like I spend more time contemplating whats wrong & trying to figure out how to fix it, then I do actually getting off my rear and making some real changes. I am tired of being stuck in this never ending cycle of being overwelmed! I was actually crying as I was reading it! You have inspired me, thank you!


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