This is what Two Hour Mom looks like on other moms. Try it out…it’s fun:

I have a friend who is a nurse PRN. Not just any nurse – a helicopter nurse. When she gets a shift, she high-fives her husband on her way out the door, and she rides around in helicopters ministering to hurting people. Helping others, knowing herself, finding her identity, portfolio building, giving herself separate space = check. And lest you think she has an abundance of room in her schedule, did I mention that this super mom with the so-freakin-awesome job has four kids with another on the way?

Another friend of mine puts her two-year old down for a daily nap, opens up her laptop, and teaches 30+ kids Spanish. She records videos of herself, cheers students on with encouraging messages as she grades papers, and does lesson planning. And after that? She hops on a treadmill and runs for the rest of nap time. Because she knows herself and knows how fantastic she feels after exercising. She likes herself enough to do the hard work to make her best self happen. Resume building, excelling at her job, achieving goals, exercising, rewarding herself = check.

 I have a friend who loves challenging herself to complete goals. Always on the track team in school, she rekindles that joy by training for half marathons for months, and then runs those races. Where does she find the time? She rises before anyone in the house and gets her run on. Her recent self-challenge entailed 6 weeks of rising at 3:30 am to hit the gym. 3:30 am sounds insane to me, but it’s how this friend reaches her goals. She knows herself and loves herself well, by doing what it takes to lock in those accomplishments.

How I Broke Free From Fear of the Flu

It all started with Facebook. Or an impossible decision. I’m not really sure. Looking back, it’s hard to sort through those he-said, she-said conversations, chock-full of “he misunderstoods” and “she shouldas,” and figure out where it all originated.

It started like this. Scott was tying his shoes on the way out the door for work and mentioned, “I saw on Facebook that Amy has the flu. I know you see her sometimes at BSF, so be aware.”

I went into instant snapping mode. Blamed him for fear-mongering and dwelling on the negative, accused him of too much Facebook time, and later demanded an apology. Um, yeah. It was backward.

It was only later, when I was still trying to extract my apology as we talked it out (as I – ahem – built my case). We came round and round until suddenly, it hit me. ME. Something in ME was the source of this conflict. That undeniable, dread-in-the-pit-of-my-gut moment when I realized I might be wrong. I kept the cyclical arguing going for a little longer to try and save face, but I fizzled out pretty quickly as I came face to face with a big, fat, glaring-and-glistening ugly thing inside me that needed to be addressed. Fear.

Fear in me. That feeling I’d stuffed and flattened and smoothed and tucked and wore oversized, ruffled, color-concealing clothes to cover — erupted in a big mess. A mess that had to be dealt with, because I’d dragged someone else into the pit with me. (Someone I dearly love. I traded my best friend, companion, and #1 supporter to cradle my FEAR and call it beloved. To make a last-ditch effort to hide it as it ballooned into full exposure.)

So the back-tracking stopped and the tears flowed, because I’d reached the end of myself, and had nowhere left to run. Me and that fear, just sitting there exposed.

Man, that’s a hard pedestal to hobble down from. 

I was so sure I was in the right. But figuring out myself and the things that cause me to act in that way at that time is tough. It’s confusing. It’s muddled. It doesn’t make sense at face value. And it usually points backward to some bigger event.

In my case, it was loss of our first daughter when I was 38 1/2 weeks pregnant. My loss spreads into so many aspects of my life. One day, it can look like fear of the flu and hand-washing, and in another it can look like me, grabbing for control by agonizing over which road to take after a careless driver flipped our SUV.

Here’s what I have to do to walk myself away from the ledge when fear mounts:

-Stop. When I can start to hear that my reasoning isn’t making any sense, that the line of conversation is getting cyclical, or I’m bringing in tangents that have no business in the conversation, or I’m seeing red, I just need to stop. And get to a different environment. Maybe a different room with different sights and sounds… and pillows.

-Figure out what I’m feeling. This step took months to figure out. And a lot of practice, to get to today, where I can trace the steps from accusing Scott of too much FB, back to mention of the flu, and back to fear and loss.

-Take it to God. God, the healer, comforter, my source of strength, the one who collects my tears in a bottle, who records every tear I ever cry in a book, who will one day wipe away every tear I’ve ever cried, who today — in THIS day, sends people to infuse His comfort in me. This God, hears me. He sees me. He knows me and what makes me – uniquely me – weep. And He cares. I go to Him and tell him my hurts. And He cares.

-Tell a trusted friend. (A precursory note: be aware that the criteria for “trusted friend” may be different than what you think. If you are frequently hurting after conversations with your friends, you might need to re-examine who you allow in your inner circle. Consult these resources for help.) Pouring out my heart to another soul in the family of God is where I derive new strength. It’s Biblical — termed confession. Also termed “same comfort” and “mutually build each other up.” It’s soul-enhancing.


Bible references mentioned in this article:

2 Corinthians 1:3-5  – He comforts us, we comfort others with the same comfort

Psalm 56:8 – He collects my tears in a bottle, tears in a book.

Revelation 21:4 – He will wipe away every tear one day.

Genesis 16:13 – He sees me. He is the God who sees.

Romans 1:11-12 – We mutually build each other up.

James 5:16 – Confess to each other and pray so you may be healed.

Discovering My Hidden Dream of a Lifetime

It’s hard sometimes to look up from the haze of Mommyhood and wonder where your dreams went.

Between pregnancy, sleepless nights, and figuring out this new landscape, parenting has thrown me off.

What started as a hushed blissful lull of gazing into my infant’s eyes and melting all day, a few years down the road turned into a mayhem concoction of temper tantrums, cabin fever, and children who don’t need me to be on call 24/7 — a general feeling of being stuck. Wondering what’s next.

And wondering what happened to the girl who was driven, eager to learn, and extremely goal-oriented.

Yep, I lost myself somewhere along the way.

Which was awesome in the lullaby years. But now, it was time to rediscover myself.

I’ve spoken before about writing my way to self-discovery, an online portfolio, and fulfillment, one project at a time, during nap-time. But recently something big, new, and awesome popped up on the horizon.

I met The 99’s.

My husband is a pilot, and we used to fly together — for dates, big life events, and just to head to the beach. But all that stopped around the time we started having children. For a lot of reasons.

So I was shocked a few months ago to realize there’s an all-women flying organization. One that comes with a scholarship to fund your flight training. And equally shocked to realize that I want to learn to fly — in a big way.

Want to follow my aviation journey? Cheer me on by joining the list here.