Here I am, thinking... Like I always find myself doing. Thinking too much or too little and everywhere in between. I want to introduce myself... But not just to tell you my name, number of kids, hobbies, and years I have been a Hiltibidal. When I think about Who I am I always remember this. Anna, Make your bed.
Let me explain a bit. I am, for the most part, a very optimistic woman. I choose to look for the bright side and find some shrivel of silver lining in everything. My days come and go just like yours. I begin Every day making my bed. Standing back for just a second to be grateful for my first accomplishment of this day.
Why You Should Make Your Bed Every Morning
Why is making your bed every morning so important? US Admiral William H. McCraven, who spent 36 years as a Navy SEAL and was required to keep his room spic and span during his service, says in his 2014 commencement speech at the University of Texas that it’s extremely motivating for the day ahead:
If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another. And by the end of the day that one task completed will have turned into many task completed.
Makes sense, right? Instead of scrolling mindlessly through your phone as soon as you wake up, you can complete a single chore that you won’t have to do later and get the ball rolling to be productive for the rest of your day.
McCraven goes on to make another significant point on why this habit is life-changing:
Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that the little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you’ll never be able to do the big things right. And if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made—that you made. And a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better.
After I make my bed, I manage to say a few prayers, thanking God for a new day and asking him to guide my steps, my thoughts and my Mouth. I remind myself that our children are actually His, and just on loan to me to lead them in the way they should go. And then LIFE happens.
Some days are filled with a busy agenda, lessons, play dates, academic field trips, and adventures. Others are PJ days. Laundry, chores, and house shoes. (who am I kidding, I am always barefooted) But amongst these days, there are what I call Messes... Life can be messy. Not just the spills, dishes, laundry, the van or windows... We are messy people.
Our attitudes went unchecked. Our faces need to be fixed at times. Our hearts condition always need a tune-up. Especially mine. Back to making my bed. I know that some days throw us a curveball (I am not a baseball player, but baseball lingo speaks to me, and I hope it does to you too). Some we see coming, and we lose our footing before we are ready for the next pitch. (kids with colds, pet having accidents in the house, lost shoes and picky eaters) Others are a close miss, and spin us in a circle making us dizzy for a few minutes. (lost friendships, fender benders, AC quit working or toilets backing up) But soon we work it out and are back at the plate ready to continue. Then there are the curveballs that hit us... Hard...
We drop our bat, bleed and are broken. Crying and bit lost. We all know what these days are like, no need for examples... So, when I have had one any of these days, I can end my day crawling into a made bed. Nice and tidy, ready to welcome me in whatever condition the day has put me in. I can look at that possibly only real accomplishment that I had that day and smile. Don't get me wrong, most days are beautiful, filled with laughs, fun, adventures, and cooperation. I crawl into my made bed with a smile on my face, a warmed heart, and excitement for another day. Just know I want to be prepared for the curve balls that might hit me.
So, now I want to introduce myself to you.
I think you can begin to see something of a clearer picture of what kind of woman I am. Not perfect in any, any, any way, but always taking steps to improve and be available for God to use. My name is Anna Marie Hiltibidal. I just turned 43 on October 9th. I met and married my husband Jeremy in 1995. Collectively we have been married for 20 years. (a story for another day). In April 1996, I became a mom for the first time. A brown-eyed baby girl that we named Gabriella Marie. It was 10 years later I became a mom again, November 2006. This was our first blue-eyed boy, we named him Caleb Jeremiah. Twenty four months later came boy #2, blue eyes again, Connor Benjamin. Then after a few years passed, and I got rid of ALL things baby, God blessed us with #4. In May 2013, our 2nd brown-eyed girl was born. We named her Galia Analise. (gal-ya) So if you are following the dates, and add quickly, you'll see that our oldest was 17 when her baby sis was born. God has a sense of humor... All these babies, pregnancies and dates have a story. I promise. But for now, let me say this. Through all the messes life threw at me, I am stronger now than I could have ever thought 24 years ago. Looking back on marriages, divorce, 19 moves, military life, long term foster kids, deployments, homeschooling, deaths, PTSD, births, near misses and all the adventures proves that God is Good.
Here I am wanting to paint a picture of a stranger to strangers. I am an open book. I am messy. But I do not want to steer your thoughts into the wrong thinking. I am just like you. I struggle. Some days tons. My struggles are mostly internal. My thoughts are wired on repeat "you aren't good enough".
My upbringing could be described as this. My parents did the best they could. The best two alcoholics could do. My father was very critical, mostly cold and distant. My mom put her head in the sand and most days drowned her days in a bottle. I grew up fast. Too fast in some ways. I had to sink or swim for the most part and taking responsibility for my younger sister became my drive. It was up to me to feed her, make sure her homework was done, get us up and ready for the bus, and make sure she had her PE clothes clean.
I grew up in a godless family. No connection to a church, community or grace. My love for God awakened at a Carmen Concert in St Louis, MO in 1993. I can not say I am a super-spiritual person. But God's grace has taught me many things about who I desire to be to myself, and my family. I am many things. I am a daughter to the most high king, a wife, a mom, a sister, a daughter, an aunt, a cousin, a friend, and an enemy and even a Nanna.
These titles all mean something different to me. All of them come with a sort of pressure to be my best. Some days I want to be them all, yet others I dream about packing a bag, walking to Mexico and changing my name... I will not do that, but I want to be transparent. It crosses my mind. I LOVE my family, my friends, and my lot in life. Most of this life is truly an adventure. I love adventures, I like to turn the simplest things into adventures. I know my kids love me for this characteristic. I love to laugh and have fun. I find myself to be a people pleaser, just because I want to make other people's lives better in some way. I have to be sooo careful to not put myself on the back burner, at least not for too long.
So, here I am. Anna. Dodging fiery darts. Raising God's children and holding down the fort for my family through yet another deployment, while Jeremy is serving this USA on foreign soil for a year. My hope for readers is to see that you are not alone in this game of life. We are put here, in the zip code we are in, to have an impact on others. Give And Take. A community is the best way. Share your gifts and talents with others, learn. Never stop learning. Allow folks you love to reprimand you. Ask questions and most importantly, allow yourself to ask for help.
Thank you so much for reading! If you enjoyed this article, click the like button, comment below, and share the post!
Is there anything you would like to hear my perspective on? Please let me know in the comment section below! I have learned the hard way many times. There isn't anything I am afraid to talk about. I have touched on a few difficult topics in my life. Sadly there are more. All of which make me who I am. I have learned to forgive. It is the only way to move forward.
It's nice meeting you. Love and Hugs
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