I found a study guide online to follow along with as I read Of Mess and Moxie by Jen Hatmaker:
In what ways are you able to find Moxie in the midst of a Mess?
Moxie means to be full of energy or determination. I feel like every day I have to dig deep to find a little Moxie to get me through the days. I don’t mean that every day is a mess as the question proposes, but each day it takes energy to fuel the list of to-dos that need to be done. Believe me, there are plenty of messes in my life of being a wife, mother and manager, not to mention the other roles I play in life. What life doesn’t have messes though, right? I find time to do things that bring me joy: watch my kids grow, read empowering books, workout, write, create etc. All of these things bring me energy. They give me the purpose to live life each day.
How are you different from one year ago? 5 years ago? 10 years ago?
A year ago I was doubting myself, my feelings, my desires and my ways of living. I was right on the verge of taking the steps to believe in myself again (thank you counseling, self help books and tuning into the things that have always made me feel full). Today I am much more sure of who I am. I know that I am a kind hearted person who gives her all to everything and everyone around her. I am not perfect, I make mistakes and I am ok with that. I am not any different than the kid I used to be, the young adult I merged into and the human being I was right before I got married and had kids. Of course, I am different, but the core of me is the same.
5 years ago I was a new mother. I had Stella who was 1.5 and was expecting Emery within a couple of months. I loved having really little kiddos around. I loved the snuggles and the coos of babies. Even though they are full of tattles and sass now, I thoroughly enjoy this stage much more. 5 years ago I was a full on mother. Exhausted from having Stella and giving Emery a home to grown in, I had lost a whole lot of “me”. I was happy to be a wife, blessed to have the girls, but didn’t have time to find myself. I didn’t have time to be Kirsten. I felt truly lost. Most moms will understand this. Dads try, but will never fully understand.
10 years ago I was 26. I was single, just meeting my husband to be. I worked in the world of Interior Design, one of my creative passions. I worked out at a phenomenal gym each day. I lived in the same town as my parents and some of my best friends. Life was pretty comfortable and carefree. I could read when I wanted to, create art if I desired and be lazy if I wished. There are days that I long to be that 26 year old again. If just for a day or two every now and again.
As a parent what do I take seriously? What do I take less seriously?
This is a hard question. Being a parent is the hardest job/role I have ever had. Some days I succeed and some days I darn near fail- or at least feel like I do. The girls are still alive, healthy and happy (most of the time) so I must be doing something right as a mom. I want my kids to be kind. That is by far my biggest fear. The first thing I ask at conferences is are they nice to other kids? Do they have good manners? Are they respectable? I would say I also ensure that they are hardworking. I want to make sure they are challenged and understand things are not just handed to them. They will not always be the best, things will not always come easy for them. They have heard the phrase “life is not always fair” to the point where Emmy recites it to her sister often *laughing*
What am I more relaxed on? Goodness, I don’t even know. They know relaxed is not a word often found in my vocabulary. We are a clean family, messes and clutter make me anxious, but I also don’t mind if they have projects out in certain areas of the house because I know they are being creative. If they are being imaginative I am less apt to hound them to clean up their mess. I am less serious about putting laundry away- maybe because I don’t like laundry. I would rather clean a toilet *laughing* By nature, I am a pretty serious person. I wish I could be less serious at parenting,