I {Heart} Sleep….. but now I have a “REAL JOB”.

A few months ago, this fabulous article was posted.

I need one of these desks.

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This year I began working outside the home and church again. I’m teaching Elementary Art and working as a Teachers Aide. I now have a “real” job… Besides being a Mom and a Worship Leader and Pastor…..

My school job is taking up a lot of time. I’m exhausted when we come home. After helping the kids with their homework, talking thru their days, cooking dinner and clean up, all I want to do is sleep. And I need rest. Or I’m cranky. When I am awake past 8pm, I long to use this time to be creative, but instead we are in a season of house hunting. This is practically another part-time job in itself. And it steals away from any extra moments we might have for creativity… We were created by a creative God. Created from the breath of God. We were designed to be creative. And we were designed for rest. We need time for both. I’m reminding myself. We need time for both. It is essential to make space for both.

In this season of house hunting, new school year and new job responsibilities, creating has taken a back seat most days to sleep. Because we’re so tired. I love sleep, so this isn’t a huge problem… except that it is a huge problem. I can rarely stay up late anymore! It’s like a part of me has died. The creative part of me… which comes alive at 2am. With this piece of me so dormant now, I have grown frustrated. Occasionally, I take a nap from 8pm-12am and then stay up until 3am creating. I come alive again. This is probably sounding super dramatic. But I am a dramatic person. I was created this way. If I am not creating, I am empty. When a creative person does not have moments to create, they might as well be sleeping all day long…

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*The following was one of my first posts after I began this blog nearly 4 years ago. Enjoy!

I can fall asleep anywhere, in nearly any position, and under almost any condition.
I can drink espresso in the evening, and fall asleep with in minutes of the last gulp.
I can fall asleep in the middle of a conversation.
I can fall asleep while reading out loud to my children.
I have fallen asleep in school.
I have fallen asleep on the job.
Against a wall. At my desk. In the car. On a subway.
Almost Anywhere.
At times, I would watch our cat sleep and long for that ability to curl up at anytime, anywhere and nap.

You get the picture.
I need a lot of sleep, or I’m cranky.
It has been nearly 8 years since I’ve “slept in”. I am a mom.
I have responsibilities. I can’t sleep whenever I want to.
But I used to.
When I was in college, I was employed at the University in the HR department doing grunt work – filing, stuffing envelopes, data entry, etc…
This was not a glamorous job, but it paid the bills.
I would faithfully do my job, but still had idle time to fill.
I worked in a small dark room, with no windows, one table, one chair, minimal supplies and a phone.
So, I wrote letters to my best friend (then fiancé) Adam, and slept.
Yep, a few times I curled up under the table and slept.
Occasionally, my supervisor would come in to the room to hand me more tasks, check on my progress, or my finished work.
Though I only napped a few times while working,
Adam asked me if I ever worried about my supervisor walking in on me sleeping?
For some reason I never did.
But then again, it’s possible she saw me sleeping and never said anything.
I probably looked too peaceful to wake.
I inherited this gift of “falling asleep anywhere, anytime, anyplace” from my parents & have passed it onto my daughter, Soleil.

I also inherited a good work ethic from my parents.
Now that I am a stay-at-home mom, I can fall asleep on the job. I can take naps.
Sometimes we all have a chance to nap – even Adam.

Even though I nap, I am still a hard working mom. Naps do not affect my work ethic. If I am up late procrastinating, or woken up in the night by one of the wee Bab’s, I hope the next day for a nap.
I {heart} napping.

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Feel free to share and join us by following halfwrittenrecords! In Him, Leslie

the mom who *wishes* for snow days

Hey there.
I’m the mom who wished (and prayed) for 1 (or 2 – even better!) more snow days.
Yes. It’s true.
Christmas break went by way too fast and I wasn’t ready for school to begin. 
Then, much to my surprise (and happiness!) an Polar Vortex Arctic Blast or something visited us folks here in Ohio 🙂 Yipee! The kids were able to stay home 2 extra days 🙂 On Wednesday, they went back to school.
Weren’t you ready (over joyed, even?) for them to return to school?
Nope. I was still wishing for one -or 2- more…
Just a few days ago we returned from 2000 miles of travel on the open road marked by dirt, asphalt, rocks flying and gritty gas stations lined along the highway, littered with beer billboards and porn shops. Road trips are never dull, when you’re in a race you didn’t know you were in with impatient cars in the next lane over – oh W O W buddy – you can flash your headlights signaling I’m in-your-way because I’m only going 2 miles over the 75 mph speed limit to let me know you can drive 3miles faster than me. You are profoundly talented! I didn’t realize we were racing.
While all that racing was happening around us, we had a sick boy puking the entire 18 hours from Oklahoma to home. He was puking , I was driving, Adam was sermonizing (putting the finishing touches on his sermon while trying to assist our sick son). We pulled in to our driveway at 4am in good shape, safe and sound. Only to return to our dogs little present she left all over our daughters bedroom floor. Sure. We’ll stay up a few more hours to clean that up, shuffle the kids beds around, get them back to sleep and zzzz…. It was interesting
So yes. we’ve had plenty of family time, but it still wasn’t enough. It never is. On the open road I was struck (again) with the fact that it is never enough (like wishing time would stand still) never enough. We only have a short time with our kids -as kids- parenting, fully engaged in their young lives overwhelming them with our deepest love and listening ears.
Wednesday they went back to school and I didn’t get my *wish* of 1 -or 2- more snow days. Salem was convinced he would be going in to 2nd grade. . His teacher kept saying “See you next year!” before the Christmas break, so he thought that meant he was moving up to 2nd grade. 
Don’t grow up too fast, buddy…
Life goes too fast. There will be others speeding past you, flashing their lights at you, challenging you to go with the faster flow, or get out of the way. 
Slow down. Hold the moments. Keep *wishing* for more snow days.
In Him, Leslie 

summer’s over… suck it up and go back-to-school.

ugh. summer’s over.
and now we have to suck it up and go back-to-school. 

yep. you knew it was coming…

your tan was fading.
the pool water was draining.
your favorite flip flops were wearing out.
Christmas trees were already on display at the craft store.
the back-to-school Target ad came tumbling into your mailbox, advertising new, hip and fresh ideas on how to use duct tape for every school project and fashion statement.

as the day approached…, i heard rejoicing in the streets of my suburban hood.
parents hooting and hollering – school’s starting again! yay! i get to send my kids out of the house, fully supervised, and even fed, for 6+hours! yee-haw! yipee!  
but still.
some were dreading rather than rejoicing…
wishing for one. more. day.
one. more. chance.
even pining for another moment to re-do surviving our family vacation.
so that’s me. the one dreading, with my kids and hubby in full support.
we love summer.
we love our kids being at home.
we miss them during the day.
we rejoice when they return home.
ahhh…another blog, for another time…
as my summer tan was fading a few weeks ago, the kids and i took a trip to Trader Joes.
as we were checking out, the cashier asked me about the kids going back to school. 
we chatted for a while, and she posed the question – don’t you wish you could just start over? wipe the slate clean, and start a new? 
when her kids were young, she always loved back-to-school because she saw it as a time for a fresh start. 
and it can be. 
sometimes we just need a do-over.

any-hoo…as this school year started, i was hit over the head with this idea of a fresh start, and our first grader was hit in the head with his pencil box. 
yep. you read that right. within the first hours of his first day in first grade, he was hit in the head by his pencil box. because another student threw it at him.
when the school called to share with us this wonderful news, we weren’t surprised. we’d had a feeling. 
when my phone rang, i knew it was the school before answering. 
am i psychic? 
nope, not psychic. just following the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
after finding out salem was doing fine and survived the pencil-box-in-the-head incident, my heart had compassion toward his classmate.
he needs a do-over. a fresh start. a clean slate.
he later apologized, and all was well in the first grade land again.
and salem needed a do-over. 
the first half of his first day in first grade was spent in the nurses office. 
we were uber-proud of how salem responded. 
expressing compassion and understanding with his reaction toward his classmate.  

so instead of dreading the school year, i’m asking God for a clean slate.
i’m hoping this year’s gonna be different.
i’m hoping my kids will get ready for school every morning without me screaming at them to put their shoes or pants on. err… i’m hoping i won’t have to scream at them ever again. or tomorrow.
i’m hoping no one else will be hit in the head with their pencil box.
i’m hoping we won’t be late to school… oops already was… again.
i’m hoping my kids will love their teachers and tolerate homework.
i’m hoping my kids will shine God’s love even brighter this year.
yep. i’m still drowning in school papers the kids bring home.
my hand hurts from all the required parent signatures…
i’ve already screamed at them to get ready for school…after calmly asking several times.
we’ve already been late to school, so i already need a do-over on that one.
and if i’m asked to volunteer for one. more. thing – i just might flip out.

but i’m hopeful…
with God, there is always opportunity for a fresh start.

so my summer’s over.
i’ve sucked it up and we’ve gone back to school…
and since then, i have reflected on my conversation with the cashier at Trader Joes. i was grateful to have had a few moments to share with her about God as our slate cleaner

when we have a relationship with Him, we have access to His all sufficient grace and His mercies that are new every morning.


are you in need a fresh start? there’s always hope for a clean slate with relationship in Christ Jesus.
i’d love to hear your thoughts, and hear your clean slate stories!

In Him, Leslie

the mom who yells in the morning

hey there…
i’m the mom who yells in the morning.
you know, the one who gets worked up from the second she wakes up if her kids get up one. second. too. early.
for the past three weeks, since school has started, this mom has had her fair share of yelling.
and so it goes.
you see…
soleil started the third grade and salem started kindergarten and selah started getting on my nerves.
soleil started dreading school. 
salem started moving at a turtle’s pace.
selah started waking up at 5:30am and turning all the lights on. 
and i became the mom who yells in the morning.
soleil has had a tough time starting off this school year.
she misses home. she cries before school. she stomps her feet. she refuses to get dressed. she declares she ‘will not go to school today’.
then mom starts yelling. 
get dressed! get it together! you’re gonna have to be home-schooled! we’re gonna be late! i’m gonna have to sign you in! 
salem has also had a tough time starting school. 
he doesn’t want to stop playing legos. he throws a fit before getting dressed. he finally gets ready at a turtle’s pace.
then mom starts yelling.
go ahead and throw your little fit! once you’re over it, let me know! hurry up! get your shoes on! we gotta go! 
selah has become the kid who wakes up at 5:30am in the morning. 
are you kidding me?!? so not cool.
she wakes up. she turns on the lights. she starts to play. she wakes up her siblings.
then mom starts yelling.
go back to bed! you can’t have the light on! shhh! stop crying! shut it! 
lunch packed. folders signed. shoelaces tied. backpacks zipped. 
they are finally ready to go out the door.
we drive to school.
goodbye kids! have a great day! sorry… mommy… just yelled at you two seconds ago about turning on lights and moving at turtle speed and not wanting to go to school because you miss me when you are there…
the van door closes on my last whisper of sorry…
between clenched teeth i express raw emotion. 
with a gulp of hot air i yell out orders.
with a flick of the light on too early, i spew.
with the hint of an unbalanced morning, i ignite a fire squad of words toward my children.
so why have i become the mom who yells in the morning?
because yelling is one thing i can do. 
this mom has had a tough time starting school. 
she misses her kids. she wishes they didn’t have to grow up. she wants to erase their 2.5, 6 and 8 year old problems.
but…
i can’t stop them from growing up.  i can’t experience life for them.  i can’t make all their decisions for them. i can’t erase all of their problems. i can’t control the ‘body clock’ of a 2.5 year old who wakes up and turns the light on. at way-too-early in the morning.
but i can yell.  i can yell. and for that single moment i feel better. i can feel like my yelling is helping to progress things along.
the mom who yells in the mornings quickly crumbles into shame.
regret grasps at her throat and chokes future lashes.
humanity reminds her tomorrow is a new day.
humility quiets her voice.
the kindness of God shows her forgiveness.
this forgiveness. this grace. this love… covers a multitude of sins.
and reminds me…
let go.
talk with them. help process their feelings. guide their decisions. listen well. be patient. continuously pray over them. don’t worry about being late. 
and…
i don’t have to be the mom who yells in the morning.