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A Peek Into My Life This Past Week

Welcome to my weekly Sunday post where we take a break from money-related posts and I share about what I’m loving right now and give you a little peek into our life from the past week.

What I’m Reading

I finished the Lilac Girls audiobook and I have to tell you (now that I’m finished with it!) that I loved it. I think the fact that it is so well narrated has made it such a good listen and I’d highly recommend it on audiobook. It’s a really compelling, tragic, and gripping story of the horrors of concentration camps.

(Note: I almost stopped listening to it because there was some edge-y stuff in the first part and I was afraid it was going to get worse as progressed. But it ended up getting quite a bit better as it progressed. Do note that it it is very much PG-13 and I would only recommend listening to it with headphones in if you have kids at your house!)

I’m also almost finished with Different by Sally & Nathan Clarkson and have found it to be pretty good. It’s been encouraging with fresh ideas to love my children and their individual unique personalities well.

This week, I’m reading: Thou Givest, They Gather (an old Christian reprint), Unashamed (a spiritually encouraging book), 10% Happier (a story-driven book), and The Big Leap (a book on life improvement).

{See my Reading Goals for 2017. Also, see the 33 books I’ve read so far in 2017 here.}

Speaking at Abundance in Phoenix with LifeWay Women… #neverunfriended

Posted by Lisa-Jo Baker on Friday, March 24, 2017

What I’m Watching

In addition to watching some basketball games (and mourning the fact that all the Kansas teams are out of the tournament!), we also watched the latest episode of Designated Survivor.

I also enjoyed watching this clip of my friend, Lisa-Jo Baker, speaking on friendship at a conference this week.

What I’m Listening To

I have listened to this song on repeat this past week. I just love it. Such a powerful reminder. (I actually love the rendition on this album best. It’s available to listen to/download in Amazon Prime Music.)

I also loved the Cultivating the Lovely podcast with guest Mystie Winkler on Myers-Briggs. I have so much to learn about Myers-Briggs and just loved the insights that Mystie shared!

What I’m Loving

I know I’ve talked about it before, but humor me as I talk about my frother again. Because I just adore this appliance!

Who needs coffee when you can have a Rooibos Chai Latte made in just a few minutes at home? Go here for the recipe and a video of me showing you how to make it/use the frother.

It’s SO easy, so yummy, and I can’t even begin to tell you how much better I feel now that I drink this instead of coffee!

What I’m Celebrating

As of this past week, Kaitlynn is landing her Double Salchow!!!! This girl’s fierce determination inspires me so much.

Learning your jumps means you fall way more than you actually land a jump. And a lot of the falls are the kind of full-on falls that you can hear from the stands. OUCH!

If I fell like that once, I’d likely need to be taken off the ice on a stretcher. But this girl, she just gets right back up and tries again.

Watch a video here of her landing this jump.

What I’m Learning

I had one day this past week where I was just “off” all day. I felt like I was in a funk… unmotivated, uninspired, and undisciplined.

I felt like I was just productively procrastinating all day. And at 2:30 pm when Jesse texted me from the ice-skating rink to tell me the repairman was coming over, I still was in my sweaty workout clothes from the morning!!

After running in circles most of the day and wasting time on the internet, I started mentally beating myself up. I expressed my frustration over my lack of discipline to Jesse and he said, “You’re allowed to have one bad day every once in awhile. Look at the weeks and weeks of good days you’ve had recently and cut yourself some slack.”

He’s right. Not every day will be an amazing day. Otherwise, you wouldn’t know what an amazing day was because there would be no bad days to compare it to!

What I’m Pondering

“Mom, it just felt like you were trying to control things. That bothered me.” I was surprised and taken aback when one of my kids told me this matter-of-factly this week.

We had just gone to our first Escape Room as a family. (Where you get blind-folded and hand-cuffed and left in a dark room and you have to find clues and crack different codes to unlock various locks that lead to more clues that finally lead to the code you need to successfully escape the room before an hour is up.)

Truthfully, when we were there, I had felt sort of impatient with the kids all hollering out different numbers and ideas and trying to figure out clues. It seemed like they were just going around in circles and not really helping much. But I never expressed this aloud.

However, they sensed it. And after we had “broken out”, they told me they wished I had let them try to figure more things out themselves instead of me trying to “lead” the experience and get us out in time.

Honestly, I thought I was being helpful by doing so. But their words reminded me that I need to step back more and let my kids work on figuring things out without my micro-management. I need to give them space to try. Space to fail.

They aren’t babies and toddlers any more. They need to learn lessons through trial and error. They need to make some mistakes. They don’t need me to fix everything for them or solve everything for them.

I want to work on doing a better job of walking with them in this season. Holding their hand when they need a hand to hold. And letting go of their hand giving them the space they need when they need it.

I will be on the sidelines cheering, but, as they get older, it’s not my job to be in the race carrying them to the finish line. They need to learn to run themselves.

I want raise self-sufficient/God-sufficient adults to send into the world to make a difference, not children who constantly depend on me to fix or solve every problem for them.

Letting go is hard… but it’s one of the most loving things I can do for them as they grow older!

In Case You Missed It

My posts from this past week:

My YouTube videos from this past week:

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  • Sarah says:

    I know this isn’t true, but I tend to envision you as the perfect mom! LOL. So hearing you express impatience is soothing to my soul. I am the ultimate impatient mom (among other things) and it’s so hard to let that go. We are coming out of the baby/toddler stage so that mental shift is downright hard.

  • I totally relate to trying to control things. My kids have never expressed this to me, but I know that I do it. I’m not sure if they just don’t notice or they are afraid to tell me? If it’s the latter, that’s concerning. As far as having an off day, I always remind myself that I can start again any time. If not today, then definitely tomorrow. If possible, though, I try to re-start on the very same day. That being said, we obviously all have off-days and that is most definitely okay. Thanks for the reminder!

  • Desiree says:

    Double Salchow??

    I thought it was “Double Sow-Cow.” I’ve thought this since I was 5.

    My world will never be the same. 🙂

  • Melissa says:

    Is the link for the ultimate Nguyen the lovely working for anyone else? It won’t work for me. ?

  • Desiree – I thought the same! Haha, I feel like a dummy! The escape room seems like so much fun, but I am afraid that I would also take control and frustrate whoever is with me. Type A at it’s worst I suppose 🙂

  • Cheryl says:

    Crystal, Good day to you! I have a 14 year old daughter and almost 13 year old son and I need to remind myself that they are each unique children that God has blessed us with. The other week our daughter was just having a tough evening and when my husband and I talked to her about and asked what she had to say, she politely said she had nothing to say. I then realized a few hours later, She understood what we said, heard it, end of conversation. Her way of handling things is different then mine. As she grows and changes, I see she is growing into a beautiful, young woman- Have a great week and enjoy your children! You are a great mom!!

  • Lynn says:

    I think as many Moms move through life, we can tend to micromanage our children. My kids are 30 and 25 but unfortunately old habits die hard…I can still be caught doing this! As a stay at home Mama for years and years, I know that it will always be my most important job and I truly have a hard time letting go so don’t be too hard on yourself, you are not alone!

  • kym says:

    Loved lilac girls! almost as good as the Nightingale. Thanks for the show recommendation. Have you seen timeless on nbc?! its good and pretty clean.

  • Elissa says:

    I know you’re not the only parent who sometimes needs to check themselves about whether they are being too controlling! Sometimes we’re not even aware of it, so it’s good to be reminded to be thoughtful about whether there are some areas of our kids lives where it would actually be better for us to let them do their thing. I’m trying to be really conscious of that as my girls grow into their mid to late teens – taking a metaphorical step back and allow them to step into their growing independence.

  • Sarah says:

    I can completely relate about the control. I think I feel I have no control at home so I need to control things at work. I get really upset when people aren’t doing what they are supposed to and I get mean/overwhelmed and almost out of control. I need to work on this, I was just reflecting on it the other day realizing this. I think letting go will be empowering!

  • Risha says:

    I loved Lilac Girl so much, and like you, I listened to it and thought the narrations were fantastic. Such a moving story. I’m listening to Murder on the Orient Express right now. It’s narrated by Dan Stevens, and I’m absolutely fascinated by his ability to voice a dozen or more characters with unique voices and accents!

    Your confession of over-managing has me pondering, too… I still have young ones (ages 3 and 5), but my oldest is almost 10, and I know I’m struggling to trust her choices and decisions. And it’s clear I need God’s wisdom to know when to ease off the control mode. Thanks for your vulnerability in sharing the tough lessons you’re learning.

    p.s.- Just had to add from the comments… Timeless is my favorite new show this season! There’s still a question of whether it will be renewed, and I’ll be so sad if it doesn’t!

    • Are there any other audiobooks you’ve enjoyed that have fantastic narration? I’d love to know!

      • Risha says:

        I haven’t listened to very many audiobooks, so I can’t really think of any others that stand out with great narration. However, Dan Stevens has done quite a few books, and I’m planning to listen to more of his since I’m enjoying this one so much. He’s also done And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, along with a couple of Roald Dahl books.

  • Pamela says:

    Thanks for this post! I really relate. My son is 18 and I still find myself trying to manage things for him from time to time. He is so gracious and let’s me know I need to relax and let him do life on his own. It is hard to let go and they do still need us it’s hard for me to know when to step in and when to let him spread his wings.

  • Ashley says:

    My two boys are in that toddler and baby stage but little steps of letting go are happening so fast. I am an elementary teacher and I work for a different school district then I live in. This wasn’t a planned thing but I was accepted to student teach in the other district and fell in love with the school and staff, and was hired the the following year.
    Since then I applied for a job in the same district I live in, where my husband was born, raised, and is hired on as a coach. It was not in God’s plan for me to work there.
    My children have been going to daycare in the district where I work. I couldn’t let go and have them 30miles away all day. This fall my eldest will start preschool and part of the time be 30 miles away from me. This is where my first time of having to loosen my grasp comes in.
    I am not worried about his well being 30 miles away, my husband is only truly going to be a few blocks away most of the day and can handle whatever.
    I just kills me to let go of him and the control.

  • Tracy says:

    Grace. A word that I, myself, am trying to recognize more in my own life. Everyone has an “off” day once in a while. Don’t forget to give yourself grace too.

  • Megan says:

    Hey Crystal,

    I know what you mean by letting then be independent more. Even though, I think I’m doing this. I see it more and more. Ever since I seen my sister in law cater to her 17 year old daughters every need, I have stopped overbearing. Now, my niece expects it. Like for example, if I’m or anyone else is a minute over time to get her from school then she starts calling. I don’t want my son to ever get like that. Things happen that could slow a person down like traffic. She doesn’t have sense of the world because she is catered to. Now of course I do things with my son to make sure he is ok but I’m not going to say how high when he says jump. That’s just too much I think. What do you think??

  • tom montella says:

    Crystal my smart beautiful dear! you are so right in letting your children learn to grow as you guide them someday soon i will tell you my story! its quite a trip lol take care talk soon doll, tom

  • Jill says:

    What a blessing that your children feel safe/comfortable enough to tell you how they are feeling! AND you took the time to hear them. Win-Win 🙂

  • kim says:

    Our family went to an escape room this weekend, too, I found myself frustrated by the lack of direction/overview we were given before we were left in this room to try to escape from a “deadly virus”. I couldn’t believe we had paid $125 to then be left in a seemingly empty room, and I made sure to say it over and over again so “Big Brother” (who was monitoring our room) would know just how I felt. I see now that I, too, wanted some sort of control over the whole process. I didn’t embrace it; I bucked against it. The kids did great…they accepted the challenge, began looking for clues, noticing things that seemed incongruent, working together… Eventually, I got into it and stopped my complaining. We didn’t “escape”, but we solved about 75% of the clues in the room. We learned what clues we were really close to solving and left with a new vision of how to look at things from a different perspective. Sometimes we just have to give up wanting to control every moment and just let the moments unfold to teach us things about ourselves we never knew. I am looking forward to embracing life more fully now. And I might just try another escape room in the near future…

  • Robyn says:

    Thank you for sharing your heart with us! And Jesse is right…we all have off days sometimes. Sometimes, I think, it’s our bodies way of getting what it needs…a day off!

    I read somewhere, I don’t remember where, that to increase your productivity, when you feel that “off” day coming, stop and ask yourself what you really need to rejuvenate, and give yourself permission to just do that rather than fritter the day away with small distractions.

    For me, sometimes this means watching Netflix at 11 am on a Saturday with a big bowl of popcorn and a Dr Pepper. (Don’t judge!) I end that two hours feeling refreshed and ready to get on with the day, knowing I’ve taken time to tend to myself…rather than beating myself up for not doing the day perfectly or wasting hours surfing the web. (Though for some, surfing the web might be just the thing!)

    Anyway, it was a shift in perspective for me that has been helpful!

  • Sandra says:

    I don’t consider myself a controlling person, but the dilemma you mentioned is something we all have to grapple with. It would be simpler if it was just “letting go,” but it really is more complicated than that. Staying out of the way while still being ready to provide what they need is more difficult than it sounds. Given than our perspectives are almost never the same as that of our kids, communication is the only way to figure out when we’ve gotten it wrong. Sounds like you’ve got that part nailed!

  • Guest says:

    Know what really stood out to me in your post? That your child felt confident and secure enough AND had the self-awareness to be able to articulate something that was really quite profound about how s/he was feeling. One tool that I think gets sadly overlooked in parenting is teaching our kids how to express their feelings/thoughts in a way that goes beyond “I’m angry” or “I’m sad” and you’ve clearly done an excellent job with that! And way to go to your child for taking the time to reflect to be able to communicate!!

  • Jay says:

    Hi Crystal, I had never heard of the escape rooms until I read your post. I signed my husband and I up for one for our next date night. It’s a surprise for him! Just letting you know how your posts influence and change lives:) I’ve also been trying to read the books you recommend. Thanks!

  • Cheri says:

    I love Sally Clarkson. Her Wholehearted Child book was tattered and loved by the time my kids were in high school.

    You’re not alone in trying to smooth the way for your children. I have one child in her late teens. She just moves in a measured, slow way. It’s not a bad thing. But I’m the Energizer Bunny – always moving fast, efficient, go go go. I constantly have to take a deep breath and just STOP. Jumping in to help her makes her think I think she’s incapable. The truth is I’m just being impatient. It’s like the car that races past you only to end up right in front of you at the next traffic light. They shaved off a nano-second. I can be that car.

    That letting go is always “a thing”. Two of my daughters got married last year and I catch myself doing things like trying to plan Easter dinner (they’re hosting!). And a huge one you have to look forward to is remembering that their spouse now has the chief place of influence. These days I’m learning to preference everything I say with disclaimers.

    BTW I really like these Peek in My Life posts.

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