How Sadler Got Her Groove Back (And, Her Name)

Sometimes, parenting is really hard. Sometimes, it’s like looking in the mirror at our selves. Tonight offered one of those nights and I’d be remiss if I didn’t document the memory.

Sadler (my 6 1/2 year old daughter) is very sensitive. It doesn’t take much for her to cry, and it can come on quickly. Ask her to please move over and share the sink space with her sister while brushing her teeth, she may cry. Ask her not to fuss at her sister for taking a snack she had her eyes set on, she may cry. Tell her she has to go to the dentist for a teeth cleaning, she WILL cry. Ask her to give back a toy that she took from her sister, she may cry.

All of the above happened today alone.

After the dentist and before the chiropractor, we had an hour or so to spare, so I took the girls to my office so that I could get some work done. It’s times like that when having 2 cell phones with You Tube Kids is something I actually appreciate, and a giant white board with lots of fun colored dry erase markers for drawing and practicing Eureka math comes in handy. They were content for a little over an hour and it was quite nice if I am being honest; I was able to get a good bit done. But toward the end of the hour, I turned and looked behind me and noticed something Sadler had written on the white board.

“I am sad and want sum won to macke me happy so I won’t be sad.” She had even taken it an extra step and drawn a perfectly shaped broken heart under these words. Alas, in black marker.

In that moment, I tickled her, asked her why she was sad and she was cheered up in no time it seemed. But flash forward to bath time a few hours later when she cried for being asked to give her sister back the toy, and I may have overreacted.

“Sadler, you seem to be sad an awful lot lately and cry for no good reason.
You’re using a whole lot of good energy and wasting tears. Why are you so sad?”

I brought up the note she wrote on the white board earlier in the day and told her that people don’t “make us sad”. That we have a choice to be sad or to be happy and that sometimes (or a lot of the time), our feelings can trick us into going to a place in our minds that we shouldn’t go. I told her that while it’s okay to feel sad or to feel mad or to feel embarrassed, we shouldn’t build a house there — we can’t stay sad or mad or embarrassed forever.

Fast forward to bedtime. Tonight’s books chosen to read: On the Night You Were Born and Where Ever You Are My Love Will Find You by Nancy Tillman. (Side note: I am beyond grateful that when our family hosted a beautiful baby shower for us before Sadler was born, they requested guests to bring a signed book rather than a card. Oh, the book collection we started before this child was even born! And a shout-out to my dear friends Melissa and Nicole for gifting us those 2 precious books – xoxo)

As we were reading On The Night You Were Born, after I read the words “You are a miracle…” she said, “Hey Mommy, what’s a miracle?”
“A miracle is something that happens that you thought never would. Something that only God knows how and why it happened. And you’re MY miracle.”
She furrowed her brow.
“Mommy’s doctor told her once that my body wasn’t working like it should and I would never be able to have my own kids.”
Her eyes lit up.
“Well, that sounds like a pretty silly doctor. And that’s pretty cool. My friend Miracle has the same name as a miracle,just like my name means that I’m sad.”

I may have stopped breathing for a second. Or maybe my heart stopped beating for just a tiny bit. I don’t know. But I knew I had to stop reading to straighten up a few things for her. My spirit was crushed that my little girl had taken her name and labeled herself as sad, and I was crushed to think that she actually believed it.

“Sadler, has Mommy ever told you where your name came from?”
Grins. “No. But tell me.”
“When Mommy got pregnant with you and found out you would be a girl, I asked GaGa what her Mommy’s name was. And her name was Cecilia Sadler. The moment I heard it, I knew that would be your first name. And my Mama Dot’s name was Dorothy Mae, so that’s how you became Sadler Mae Terrell.”

She smiled, a big smile. And then she wanted to know how her sister got her name. I told her that I had a friend in college who named her daughter Everly and I just loved the name, but that Everly’s middle name (Jean) came from Great Granny Betty (Betty Jean), GaGa (Debra Jean), my aunt Linda Jean who lives in heaven and Ga Ga’s daddy (Gene) who also lives in heaven.

“Mommy, Everly and me are SO LUCKY.”

“You sure are, my sweet girl.”

That moment will be one I never forget for as long as I live.
The joy I saw in her eyes as she listened attentively to her namesake was precious in every way. And the realization that she’d never have to identify herself as “sad Sadler” ever again, for now she knew the truth about how she came to be Sadler Mae.

We talked about how she could respond if someone made fun of her name and called her “Sad” — and boy is she ready! She repeated back to me (almost verbatim) what I told her, and even remembered that a “silly doctor told Mommy that her body was broken and she couldn’t have a baby, but she did.”

What a miracle you are, Sadler Mae.
What a blessing you are to your Daddy and I.
What an incredible big sister you are to Everly Jean.
What a gigantic heart you have.

You think you’re lucky. You have no idea how lucky I feel that God chose me to be your mama.

And as I tucked the girls in and we said our prayers, I asked her what she wanted to pray for:
“For Daddy to get home safely tonight and not to have mud on his shoes.
For me to never have to eat mushrooms again because I don’t like them.
And for God to give me a brother or a sister.”

Oh, dear.

Balance.

Day four of Kindergarten is in the books. Sadler couldn’t be happier right now in these moments of her life.

 I’ve had all the feels this week about this whole starting school thing.

Filling out the form, using only 5 words to describe my only 5-year-old…my baby. I had never truly thought of words to describe her before. Just last week as we rode in the car, Reid and I gave our input on who we saw our daughter to be; I was filling in her name, and her strengths and weaknesses, and her “hot buttons”. It was heartwarming to come up with the best five words that we thought described our girl, together: STRONG-WILLED, KIND, TENDERHEARTED, LEADER, INTELLIGENT.

As I wrote the words in the paper, I began to cry. Who were we talking about here? Sadler, or me?

It’s so hard as a parent (at least for me at this place in my journey) when you see things in your children, qualities about them, similarities in their behavior, predictability in how they’ll answer questions…and you feel like you’re looking in the mirror.

I’ve coming to learn and accept that I am my own best teacher, but this little girl runs a real tight second. She teaches me things about myself, and I try to teach her things about herself because I just know how she sees life. Sometimes it’s as if we share the same eyes.

She speaks my language. She gets me and I get her. I feel so incredibly lucky that she is mine. 

But I want her to find her way in her way. I don’t ever want to be a tug of influence, but rather a beam of guidance that just leads her there, on her own.

She’s a 1. I’m a 1, too. 

So I know for her, it can seem like we are the only ones with the only way. Our hearts are protected yet open, and our ideas are bigger than us it seems. Yet we know we can always push harder. 

It’s been a struggle this week. Finding balance between being a good stay-at-home-mom and a servant leader/CEO to my newly-blossoming essential oil business. Can’t I do both?

Time-blocking. When I have (let’s be real, when I make) the time to actually block the time. It happens sometimes. We’ll call it 50 percent.

Meditating (actually just discovered Light Sourcing by Rebecca Campbell in her INCREDIBLE BOOK, “Light is the New Black”). My mornings have become my favorite time of the day for more reasons than this one. 

Hot yoga when I have someone to watch the girls (aka – when Reid gets home from work or really early on Saturday mornings). I’d go every single day if it were possible. It’s my sanctuary. 

  Lots of oils. I love and find comfort in knowing than whenever things get heavy, I can count on my oils for safety and solace. They usually change the game for me so profoundly that I’m moved to tell someone or make a Facebook live video about my experience. 

Affirmations. Written on a whiteboard, to be repeated each morning. Out loud. Because I know the power of the spoken word. 

Lots of deep personal development through books. Mindset transformations about money and budgeting.  Journaling.

I’m doing so many of the things. I’ve created so many positive habits. Yet, I still find myself feeling out of balance. 

Unsteady. Ungrounded. 

Flailing. 

I’m learning to soften into who I am. We all need to. 

I’m so worried about getting it all done that I can’t lose sight of what I’m doing it all for. 

I’ve prayed for answers for quite some time now. Shortly after (and sometimes during), I look up to see a squirrel balancing along the power line right in front of me. It’s like he comes out of thin air. I see that as God telling me to keep my footing, just one in front of the other. Slow and steady. 

Because as the old Chinese proverb goes, “Be not afraid of going slowly; be only afraid of standing still.”

The Game of Life and How to Play It

Some of you will read this title and think I came up with it. That would be natural of you to do. But I didn’t. It’s the title of an incredible book that I have just started reading, and I honestly have become so moved by it that this post is burning inside me.

I just started the book and am only about a third of the way through it, but I’ve been reading it in every bit of “down time” I have. I’ve been compelled to even jot a few things down because they just resonated with me so much. I felt moved to write them down, so I could then share them with you.

A friend loaned her copy of the book to me, and if it were mine to keep I’d be marking all over it. Normally I listen to books on Audible, and if you don’t know about this app you should totally check it out. So finding the time to actually sit and quietly read this hasn’t been as easy as you may think as an at-home mama, but I’m reading it every chance I get. I can’t put it down.

The title of the book says enough about what’s inside but I have found it to be incredibly eye-opening and moving. The author shines bright insight into my own life and in her book, Florence Scovel Shinn reminds us that the mind gives us power.  As Proverbs says, “your thoughts run your life”. We reap what we sow. If we fill our minds (which are basically thoughts, that we can control if you really think about it) with negativity, hatred, anger, fear, disgust, comparison, resentment, etc. then we will have failures and sickness and troubled situations in our lives.

In an early chapter, she writes:

“Continual criticism produces rheumatism, as critical, inharmonious thoughts cause unnatural deposits in the blood, which settle in the joints.”

Basically, she is saying that if we walk around being nasty to one another and spend time criticizing each other and ourselves, we can literally make ourselves sick. Crazy, right?! We screw things up and throw off our own energetic alignment by choosing to think negatively, or comparing ourselves to others, or being judgmental. Wouldn’t it be lovely if we could all shift to a place of observation rather than dwell in a place of judgment? Notice what’s around you, but let the thought end there. Don’t be envious, or critical, or greedy, or ungrateful, or jealous, or angry, or fearful. Choose joy, and watch the universe begin to work in your favor.

We seem so quick to look for something or someone to blame for all of the junk in our lives, but the truth is, we must take 100% responsibility for our own lives. We have endless choices each day. Our feelings affect our thoughts, which affect our attitude, which affects our actions. So, if we live the majority of our days feeling that we aren’t deserving of having something, we won’t ever have it. If we feel that we aren’t worthy enough, we won’t ever get more. If we feel like we can’t do something, we won’t ever do it. We must learn to get out of our own way. Don’t step on your own big toe.

Shinn goes on to say:

“Man should watch himself hourly to detect if his motive for action is fear or faith. There is no peace or happiness for man, until he has erased all fear from the subconscious. Fear is misdirected energy and must be redirected, or transmuted into faith.”

Misdirected energy…meaning we give the directions. We tell the energy where to go. Fear and faith don’t go together.

The most incredible part of this book for me, though — is realizing that this book was written in 1925How fascinating that almost one hundred years later, so much can still be said for humanity and how much our mind plays a part in our story.

So, folks. Here comes the secret. If you never pick up or listen to this book, maybe reading isn’t your thing. Or maybe you think I’ve lost it finding so much enjoyment in a book like this (funny thing is, I actually feel like I’ve found it.) But here is the secret. Here is what Florence Scovell Shinn says is the object of the game of life:

“…to see clearly one’s good and to obliterate all mental pictures of evil. This must be done by impressing the subconscious mind with a realization of good.”

While most people see life as an ongoing battle, it is really a game. However, we must create harmony in our lives. It’s about Love. It’s about Joy. “Keep thy heart (or imagination with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)

And yes, I realize this is a premature book report as I have barely finished the book. However, I couldn’t help myself. It’s too good not to share today. To think that someone out there in the universe could be one book away from opening a door within their soul that gets them back into the light again. Sometimes, we forget that our flame is always burning to show us the way.