What I’m “doing”

Feb 05

It’s been an odd week.  I’ve been what feels like busy, but I haven’t actually done very much.  I’m just masterminding and delegating.  Several folks have volunteered to help and serve us in varying capacities, which is so nice.  I’ve been intentional about saying yes (hard for me!) and leveraging that effort which means organizing, prepping, and planning for the help.  It’s so humbling to have people sacrifice their own valuable time and energy for us!  My energy is lower, I’m requiring more sleep, and I came down with a cold on Monday, so my personal productivity remains low, but thanks to our friends, the net is quite high for the week.

My friend asked me, “But are you having any strong days?”  To which I replied without hesitation, “Every day is a strong day.  My choice.”  Right?  Because even as I’m making accommodations, resting, accepting help, and giving myself grace, I am fierce and strong and full of life.  My athlete mentality, competitive spirit, and willingness to be gritty and work hard is very much present.  So — I’m not pitiful, wimpy, or weak, and it doesn’t make me feel better to behave as such.

I’ve had some fiercely proud mama bear moments with both girls this week.

Maren, at eight, is learning to choose joy when things are hard and — dang — she has made my heart swell several times this week as she has worked herself from a state of discontent (worry, anxiety, stress) and — independently — turned herself around to find joy and experience peace.  One time it was cancer related, the other time it was more just tween-age circumstances, but both times I could see the burden upon her before, and I witnessed the lightness in her after.  Both times I had tears in my eyes as she flat out Maren-ed the crap out of those situations.  The strategies, modeling, and conversations are paying off; I’ve seen her “work it out” from start to finish by herself.  I love to watch her.

Greta, at four, is blooming.  She has developed a nightly routine where she prefers to get herself ready and organized for bed rather than us coach/prod her along.  She goes through her checklist independently and nearly vibrates with delight when we praise her when she’s finished.  She’s also responding well to her new-to-her redecorated room: as long as it’s not post-playdate (which is super messy), there are several occasions on which she has taken pride in cleaning her own room and making her own bed.  She’s a hoot to be around; the other day she came home upset from school and sobbed in my arms: “No one was being nice to the G Meister,” at school.  I nearly choked from laughing at her self-reference, and four-year-old problems are easier to fix: we reminded her of all the people who love her.  She’s just so very lovable, my G Meister.

One of my mom’s most frequent compliments/phrases to the three of us was “You make good decisions,” and it is clear (in more ways than one–just ask my sisters) that I am becoming my mother, because I totally get the sentiment.  It is so awesome to watch my kids make good decisions, especially when the circumstances are challenging.

My hair is actively falling out.  The other two times I lost my hair due to chemo, I buzzed it when it started to shed.  This time I’m hanging on a bit longer, but not sure how much longer I’ll be able to hold out.  Yesterday I washed it and it was a mess in the shower.  I’m wearing a half ponytail today because I think if I kept tucking it behind my ear (as I usually do when it is down), I would end up with bald patches around my face.  (Haha!)  I’m helping with Maren’s Valentine’s Day class party next week, and I would really like to save her the “Why doesn’t your mom have any hair?” questions from classmates who might not know our story, but I can’t control it and we’ll roll with it whenever it happens.

I’ve now procrastinated yet more on the piles on my desk, so I will go and think about tackling those.  No promises though.  I’m feeling okay about my lack of “doing”, for the most part.  Thanks for the grace.


  1. Praying all the time for you and your family. 50!

  2. Lisa Smith /

    Dear Lord Jen, How do you know exactly when to post and pull me out of my own not strong day. You kick my ass every time and I am so grateful. “Every day is a strong day. My choice.”
    Thank you for this reminder as I have been tearfully overcoming my own to-do list and lack of desk time and overwhelming feelings as I grumble along. I am so deeply grateful for every post, every Jen quote, every inspiring word. Wish I was closer and could be a more tangible part of your village. You can never know how much you mean to me. Love you. xo

  3. Kim Rourke /

    Being so intensely aware of your little ones and their needs is a HUGE task, and the most important one for a mom. Sounds like you are very busy and DOING!

  4. I love the ways in which you appreciate your children. It’s beautiful and inspirational.

  5. One thing you are always doing is making us readers better, more thoughtful, people. Thank you. Peace and love to you and your family.

  6. You are actually doing a lot! Adding my “ditto” to all of the previous, precious comments here.

  7. Karin Eppert /

    Thank you. Love you.

  8. Diana Gibson /

    By the time i get to share time with you, others have said what needs to be said in your support and acknowledgement of your ability to cheer us up, to encourage us, to remind us of the little things that are the important things. Thank you Jen. You ROCK!!!

  9. such a lovely entry…Maren is definitely a mini you and Greta is sweet in her unique way. Both grown up so much. I think of you every day and send warm loving thoughts your way….to the 4 of you 🙂


  10. You are amazing. I love your commitment to Do Today Well – so many ways you show your strength and joy to all of us, to your girls, to your family, and yourself. Your messages of strength and joy are popping up every where in my world. My keys, the signs on my wall, and inside my head with images of your beautiful girls wading through the yucky, hard parts that can come their way in this tough time with rainbow-colored boots and a bright yellow umbrella. Your family shines no matter the weather : )