Here's Why, Life right now

No bigs.

On Tuesday mornings, I meet with a big ol’ group of women, all ages, and we listen to our teacher and drink lots of coffee and oogle babies and escape our toddlers for an hour or so. Bible Study Tuesday has become a staple in my life.

Today, our fearless leader asked us, “What are you doing in your life that counts for eternity?”

Quite the question.

My mind went right to my lap, which was bouncing a fussy Charlie Girl.

My lap is tired.

I’m tired — Mother of Newborn Twins tired. Mother of a Two-year Old tired. Mother of a Six-Going-on-Sixteen-Year Old tired. My eyes are tired of opening at 3am. My ears are tired of screeches. My arms are tired of catching, lifting, hoisting, holding. My skin is tired of being touched and touched and touched. And my nostrils? Well, yeah, they’re tired too.

This is what I’m doing that I hope, hope, hope is counting for eternity, at least in a positive way. And here’s what I think.

I’m doing really, really well. I am KILLING IT.

I know this for a fact because my kids bathe daily, usually. I know because nine times out of ten, Carter’s homework is finished before the morning it’s due. It’s a fact because Jack ate split pea soup for lunch and only spilt half down his shirt and because 50% of my twins are sleeping through the night.

I know because Carter says if he could pick anyone in the world, he’d want to have dinner with me and a sleepover with Grammie and Miley. I know because Jack hasn’t broken a bone yet. I know because I regularly load up four seat-belted kids into my sky-blue minivan and successfully pull out of our driveway without major bodily injuries. I know because our kids can’t tell the difference between real and fake meat, because one boy loves asparagus and the other loves salad.

I know because church on Sundays, gymnastics on Wednesdays, baseball on Saturdays. Because I remembered to cut out all of those Boxtops for Education. Because more whole foods! Fuel points! Notes in his lunchbox! Two dishwasher cycles, three loads of laundry — daily!

I’m totally bragging here, but I even exercised this week. I even curled my hair once.

But I couldn’t do it all by myself. I’d like to take a moment to praise the other power players raising these little humans: their dad, their grandparents, their aunts and uncles, and Amazon Prime.

This #momlife is the bee’s knees, and I am rocking it. You go, Heather Lynne. Keep on keepin’ on.

(But mostly, what I’m trying to say is this #momlife is so, so hard, and I’m going to keep on keepin’ on. Eternity is on the line.)

 

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Here's Why

Getting old.

 

hospital roses

I got more than halfway through my 20’s before I looked up and realized that getting old doesn’t just “suck”. Getting old is absolutely terrifying.

Someone should have told me. We should be telling our children the truth.

Why is this at all surprising to me? Common sense, Heather. Grandmas and grandpas don’t just die in their sleep.

They die after falling down in their bedrooms at their son’s house and covering themselves in vomit before being found by their twelve-year old grandsons.

They die after emptying their bowels in the bed they share with a husband different from the one that raised their children.

They die after spending years in a wheelchair, nostrils plugged with oxygen, being force fed food they can no longer taste.

They die mouths agape in hospital beds, surrounded by machines and uncomfortable chairs.

They die under fluorescent lighting.

They die under sisters they haven’t seen in decades, bending over them and whispering it’s not too late to turn to Jesus.

That’s the way they die. That’s the way we die.

There’s no such thing as dying peacefully and painlessly in your sleep, taking one last full breath and passing gracefully. I’ve lost four grandparents in the last five years: tick, tick, tick, tick. They left with regrets and pain and muddled speech and cold hands, and they died with all the advice I wouldn’t need until later. Until now.

Growing old is terrifying, and not because at 31 I can see my skin start to slack and feel my back start to hurt. It’s not the invisible ticking clock or the earlier bedtimes, the lactose intolerance or the not wanting to stand during concerts. What’s terrifying is what will they do when I am gone? and what will I do when they are gone? and please let me go before he does. What’s terrifying is having to let them watch you pass just as ungracefully as everyone else.

I’ve spent a lot of time looking forward to being an old woman because I thought I’d have all of the answers.

But that’s a lie for another day.

Here's Why

Spit it out.

tree lips

I’m going to write more. I’m going to write in here, and in the notes app on my phone and in the old abandoned Word documents in the caverns of my files.

I am going to worry less about editing perfection and more about telling the truth.

This is an experiment of sorts.

I am going to write and I am going to exercise and I am going to eat enough and I am going to chase away the guilty teeth that gnaw my stomach lining when I do these things. I am going to touch things with my bare hands and fill my lungs up to the brim. And because I do these things, I will be happier and clearer and better able to give the way I want to.

That’s the plan.

I am going to write the good. My husband and my boys and my girls and my gingham curtains. The family and the garden and my professional things and my Bible study and my people. The silly and the delicious, the soaring and the snuggly, the warm and the soft.

I am going to write the bad, or the not-so-good. My insecurities and sadnesses and side eyes. The pressure and the guilt and the falling-shorts; the bugs and the sweat and the crying over spilt milk.

I’m going to write the ugly. I want to say “I’ll try” here, but I’m just going to do it. I’m going to write the lumps in my throat, like what happened when the doctors took the twins away while I was in the operating room. The scar tissue, like my divorce. The leaks on my soul, like what it sounded like to hear my sister die.

My life is absolutely perfect, and sometimes I cry myself to sleep.

Coming soon: Here’s Why.