Smile More. Hug More. Be a Little Silly.

dimples and mimi

My sister asked recently, “So, I read on your blog that Dimples is doing great. How is it really going?” I’ll be honest, when things are very bad, I only share a fraction on my blog. With just a bit of hyperbole, I tell my close friends and family, “Whatever I write – assume it’s ten times worse.”

In this case, I can only say, things are going just as well as I’ve written. I wake up every day amazed at our girl. Yes, her bedroom is messy, her chores are sloppy, and life isn’t perfect, but she continues to walk through each day with grace.

We went to family camp over Labor Day weekend, and since walking in the door Monday night, I’ve been inundated with paperwork for kids, appointments, and overall, just too much. My suitcase and the boys’ duffles still aren’t unpacked, we’re low on groceries, and I’m scrambling to get school supplies.

A wise person reminded me that if we do not intentionally grab hold of the success of this honeymoon period with Dimples, it’s likely to slip away. We don’t want our old life back, so how do I, in the midst of so much distraction, keep some sort of focus?

Russ and I are putting together a plan, which I’ll share next week (because it’s good stuff and I want to do it justice), but in the meantime, my goal today is to smile more, hug more, be a little silly, look in her eyes, and recognize her remarkably positive behavior. It’s all simple, but I need to be intentional when I’m tempted to focus on plowing through my to-do list for the day.

We have so much change going on in our family; I can hardly keep up. I’ll write some updates over the next couple of weeks.

Life with kids is always interesting – life with eleven kids, who are growing up at the speed of light, is a crazy roller coaster ride.

I’m thankful for it all.

Lisa

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

15 Comments

  1. Cindy Mc
    September 4, 2014

    Thank you Lisa. Your words are so encouraging and hopeful. I think I need to re-learn how to "be a little silly." When life is chaotic and heavy for years on end, it's easy to forget to do just the simple things that can change a life.

    You and your family continue to be in my prayers.

    Love,
    Cindy Mc

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      September 4, 2014

      So true, Cindy. It's easy for me to just fly from one task to another and forget to let my heart be light when it's possible. Thank you for your prayers.

      Reply
  2. Kathy
    September 4, 2014

    That is great advice to "intentionally grab hold of the successes!" I was just pondering yesterday how thankful I used to be thankful for a day without fighting, and everyone being safe, and then you move past that and come to expect it. I had to pause and remember all the baby steps, all His protection, all the answers to prayer, all the small victories…and I was in tears with gratitude. I could see The Lord's hand. A healthy exercise for sure!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      September 4, 2014

      I'm glad you "get it" Kathy. I was just telling Russ a story about something that happened and how easily I slip into expecting Dimples to handle everything well, when in reality she is putting forth great effort.

      Reply
  3. blesseday
    September 4, 2014

    So glad to hear the good things are continuing. And that is very wise advise. My eldest bio daughter has really, really been struggling all last Spring and Summer with tantrums, raging, hostility, disrespect, rebellion–all kinds of fun stuff. I think her issues are simply hormones and personality, but that does not make this stage any easier. But weirdly, now that we officially started school (homeschool) this week, she has been GREAT. Self-regulated, sweet, even helpful and self motivated! I am trying to do exactly what you have said here, to really encourage her to keep this excellent attitude and keep making these good choices. I don't want it to end! : )

    My thoughts and prayers are with you this week!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      September 4, 2014

      Yes, I have to remind myself to give lots of praise for the good behavior we want to see. Do you think she likes the structure and feels better during the school year?

      Reply
      1. blesseday
        September 4, 2014

        I was wondering the same thing as I typed out to you. : ) In way I think she does, even though she will often fight against it. It has been so strange to see attachment type behaviors in my eldest bio daughter, who I wore and breast-fed and stayed home with and homeschool. . . But that's why I so appreciate reading what you are experiencing with your children (and what my other favorite adoptive blog moms write too)–because I learn so much about better ways to relate to my dear eldest girl, and you always give me perspective and wisdom. : )

        Reply
  4. Luann Yarrow Doman
    September 4, 2014

    Today, as I battle anxiety, I will make your goal my goal: to smile more, to hug more, to be a little silly, and to recognize the positives that surround me.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      September 4, 2014

      Me too, Luann. My day ended up being pretty crazy, but I think I managed to meet my three simple goals.

      Reply
  5. Bev
    September 4, 2014

    I'm so glad for your focus on enjoying the honeymoon. Although our kids are all grown, I remember the feeling of impending doom anytime things were going well. That was awful. So much better to stay in the here and now, intentionally making the most of good things, whether they last or not.

    They may not last, but good times are more likely to last when we aren't holding our hearts in check. And, in that same light, when there is a setback, it's important to stay in the moment then too. Seeing it as one setback instead of as a pattern that will continue makes it much less emotional and frightening. But you of all people already know this stuff so well.

    Keep up the good work!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      September 4, 2014

      Bev, I love what you wrote. Thank you for the reminders – I may know it well, but I lose sight of the truth sometimes. I really appreciate your thoughts.

      Reply
  6. sleepyknitter
    September 4, 2014

    I am so happy to hear that "things are as well as you say" right now! Wonderful, such happy, blessed news. Praying for your family!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      September 4, 2014

      Thanks so much!

      Reply
  7. Juli
    September 4, 2014

    Thank you so much. You words are often just what I need to hear and especially so today. I appreciate you taking the time to post your thoughts.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      September 4, 2014

      You are very welcome, Juli. I appreciate your encouraging words.

      Reply

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