Being Considerate

In an effort to get out of my head a bit, I brought my husband to work today to get some things done since we have a full day tomorrow. Well, after getting our system situated to go grocery shopping, my six kids and I began to work our way through the busy store. It wasn’t long before I noticed that others were in a hurry and my six kids (well stationed around the cart so we can move through the aisles and I can see all of them, while also respecting that the aisles are shared space), and I were quite the inconvenience to those trying to enjoy their own shopping trips.

One lady actually glared at me that she had to walk around my two daughters in order to get to the other side of us. One elderly couple stood there grumbling, and after I gently and respectfully apologized and said ‘oops! we’re right in your way!’ the woman said, ‘yep!’ without cracking a smile. That was about 5 or so minutes into our mission at that particular store…

Add to that kids asking for things, me reminding them to walk with me, looking at my list, processing what I needed next, my oldest in lala land that I had to keep bringing back to the cart so I didn’t lose her, training my youngest ones to stay where I’ve told them to stay, and trying not to walk past any of the items I needed to get and needless to say, I was beginning to feel, well, angry. I was angry that these folks were upset that they had to pause for a moment or go about 3 feet out of their way on account of my family trying to live our lives in the same space. I can’t even imagine what they’d have thought of me if I had let my kids run wild if they were so disgusted with us in the manner we were moving along.

I can’t say I remained respectful, unfortunately. I had grace for about 4 people before I made a slight scene as I spoke to my children about how surprised I was at the people’s reactions to us simply trying to buy food for our home. Thankfully, my kids pointed out the kind man who winked at them, the man with a little boy who smiled and gladly let Kimberlyn say hi and talk to him; the woman who smiled and nudged her own teenage daughter and pointed at us… I don’t think anyone realizes how much these small moments mean to us.

I had to leave before I burst into tears. With only half my list completed, I hurriedly checked out and got the kids in the van before calling my husband and having a little cry on the phone. Mind you, this was our third stop. I’d already brought the kids to the bread store, the liquidation center, and they’d been in the van for about an hour so I could bring their Daddy to work to take the van. They were behaving quite well considering my expectations… so I was angry. What kind of expectations does society place on parents and children? I simply don’t understand.

Well, I’m not sorry for being in the way. I live here too. My being considerate of the time and efforts of others doesn’t mean my time and efforts aren’t important, it simply means I care for others as well as my own.

Thank you to all of you who take a moment to smile. Your kindness means a lot… my kids clearly noticed, and I’m so so grateful they do. They help me see the kindness when I’m struggling to do so.

Advent 2016

We decided to do an advent calendar this year and the kids are so excited! This is what we’ll be doing and I wanted to write it down here so I could find it easier and so I could refer back to it in the years ahead:

Each morning leading up to Christmas, we all eat the piece of chocolate.

At breakfast, the person who’s turn it is to pray over the meal, will read the scripture cards we printed off and then pray over the meal.

At 3pm, sit down for a snack and write down a blessing from God and put them in a jar that we’ll open and read on Christmas day and then we’ll do a special family activity. This is when we’ll be extra intentional about building our relationships with each other and to bless others.

Thursday, December 1: Sing songs about Jesus and make cookies for Papa and Esther.
Friday, December 2: Make paper handprint wreaths for both doors and tree for the living room mantle.
Saturday, December 3: Make a card for a family member (or more) and a soldier.
Sunday, December 4: Make snowmen, and penguins out of feet.
Monday, December 5: Color pictures about Christ.
Tuesday, December 6: Make a card for another family member (or more) and soldier.
Wednesday, December 7: Sing songs about Jesus and bundle up and take a walk.
Thursday, December 8: Go look at Christmas lights.
Friday, December 9: Make a card for another family member (or more) and soldier.
Saturday, December 10: Make handprint snowflakes and decorate the house.
Sunday, December 11: Make a list for and create coupon books as gifts.
Monday, December 12: Make a card for another family member (or more) and soldier.
Tuesday, December 13: Sing songs about Jesus and make a list for our “Why We Love You” flowers.
Wednesday, December 14: Make “Grand-babe-bees”.
Thursday, December 15: Make a card for another family member (or more) and soldier.
Friday, December 16: Make our “Why We Love You” flowers.
Saturday, December 17: Finish flowers with vase and add bees.
Sunday, December 18: Make up some skits.
Monday, December 19: Sing songs about Jesus and make a card for another family member (or more) and soldier.
Tuesday, December 20: Send out all cards and watch a family movie.
Wednesday, December 21: Record ourselves acting out the skits we made up.
Thursday, December 22: Help Mama clean the whole house.
Friday, December 23: Sing songs about Jesus and make cookies.
Saturday, December 24: Watch a family movie.
Sunday, December 25: Exchange gifts, spend the day with the family, and read from the grateful jar.

Entering Into My Present

While I don’t blog regularly, I’m considering picking it up again. Last year, I created another blog for privacy, to work through all my emotions regarding the sexual assault I experienced as a child, but I imported it all here on my main blog today. Now that I feel like I’ve worked through those things for the most part, I’m praying into whether to begin blogging about other things and sharing what I’m up to in the here and now – walking away from my past and entering into my present.

Living with my mother in-law, and watching her these last few months has inspired me in such a huge way in homemaking and homeschooling, and to better honor the Lord with my time, finances, and gifts. She is an amazing example of the Proverbs 3:10-31 and Titus 2:3-5 women, and does it in such a way that is practical and meaningful. I’m so thankful for this time I’ve had to glean from her and I’m so so thankful to have her as my mom. I would just love to put all these resources, tips, and strategies in one easy to navigate place, and my blog is a great place to do that. It would be even better if someone else also benefited from it!

If you could pray for me as I consider blogging these things, while also praying over our home search, I’d so appreciate it. We think we found the one, but we’re still praying into it so as to not be impulsive like we’ve been in the past.  The next steps of our ventures in pursuing the things of God, have us excited! God is so faithful and has brought us through so much growth and change as we’ve allowed Him to burn out the dross from our lives. We want Him to keep doing what He’s been doing and keep going deeper.

Thank you for reading and for praying! Bless you!

This isn’t the End of the Story

I was in the bathroom about 15mins or so before Kimlyn’s bedtime and she came in and tried climbing in my lap. I was telling her to wait so I could finish and then I’d pick her up after… so holding her back I creatively wrapped it up. lol Of course, as soon as I was done and I no longer needed two hands, she ran out of the room. haha So I laughed and walked behind her and she walked into my bedroom and stopped and looked at me. I asked, “Do you want to go to bed?” She nodded matter-of-factly with her eyes closed and said, “Mmhmm.” Then turned around and walked into the room and laid on the bed. So I hollered to the other kids who were doing a quick tidy before we started our bedtime stuff to clean up quietly because I was laying Kimlyn down. She fell asleep in THREE minutes! 😀

I came out a couple minutes later and found that the Katlyn had done her job and did a few more things that I didn’t ask her to do and then went to help the youngers finish cleaning up the toys in their room! ❤ ❤ ❤ Chris came home and they of course went faster to bless him. 😉 So I said since they had such a great attitude about cleaning and went above and beyond, they could stay up and watch a show. ❤ After it was over, they did their bedtime stuff, gave hugs and kisses, and laid down… and I didn’t hear another peep out of them!

This is a nice change. Bedtime has been the most loathed part of my day for years… and we’re finally getting into a system that works for our whole family these last couple months. ❤

I’m really expectant for what God is doing… these new things that we’re walking into. I’ve been processing and healing through so much and I see us transitioning into this very exciting season. It’s been a challenge with all the devastation in the world on top of my own personal things, but I remind myself that while there is still light in the darkness, there is opportunity. God is still in this and touching people and loving people and this isn’t the end of the story. ❤

Allergic to Cats?!

Sooo I’m thinking I’ve developed a cat allergy in my adult life. I just never considered it because I was around cats throughout most of my life growing up. Well, we got our cat, Ninja, a few months before I got pregnant with Kimberlyn and I’ve been dealing with a runny nose every day since but just chalked it up to fall allergies and then winter time sniffles and then I attributed it to the pregnancy. After I gave birth to her, it was fall once again and then winter… then when spring came I thought, well maybe I have spring allergies now! lol

Then we moved to KS and I had no symptoms so I thought finally, I’m not sick (I was here for three months without my husband and our cat)! Then a few months later, it came back. Well, I figured it was my apartment as it was pretty dry and dusty in there but when we moved an hour away and I still dealt with it, I figured maybe it was a longer running issue than sniffles and where we were living at the time. I began researching mold toxins, adrenal fatigue, chronic cold symptoms, cancer… LOL I mean, I just wanted to know what the heck was up! Then one day, out of nowhere, I was sitting and the thought crossed my mind “developing a cat allergy in adulthood.” I thought, that’s a weird thought to have. So I looked it up and boom! It explained every single thing I’ve been dealing with. So I decided to watch when I had the flare ups.

I have no issues at night (Ninja isn’t allowed in our room) and when it gets its worst is when he’s sitting near me and when it’s best is when he’s across the room and right after we’ve vacuumed. About two months ago I also visited a friend a for a few days and I had no symptoms. So there you have it. I am allergic to cats.

Now a question for all my naturally minded friends – do you have an suggestions in getting rid of it? LOL Or atleast helping with the itchy eyes and scratchy throat? Is there a root cause that may have triggered me to develop this issue? I had some candida stuff going on during my pregnancy that could have developed prior to becoming pregnant as well as some adrenal issues. Could that have played a part in becoming sensitive? Fix me with everything you know without synthetic medications since getting rid of our cat isn’t an option (my kids adore him very much)! haha 😀

Glad to Be Home!

There’s no other place I’d rather be than here surrounded by people I love! Can’t wait until I get to see my kids so I can hug them and kiss them!! Had such a wonderful week with some very special people. Thank you all for your hospitality and filling my love tank to the brim. You are all amazing. Hope you all have an amazing day ~ and remember, this is the day the Lord has made. Rejoice and be glad in it!!! Wedding dress conversations, planning, and lots of fun is ahead for my baby sister!!! Can’t wait to see her at noon!

Then the secret will be out: My sister Debbie and her 5 beautiful children are here visiting for THREE weeks! Planned strategically around our baby sisters wedding. She has NO clue! So glad you are here Debbie!!!!

God is good… and good does come!

These last several months have been riddled with lessons. I don’t know that I’ve experienced such cram packed-real life-living it out-what we call home school education, education. With growth coming at me full force, I’ve been put in a place to face my responsibilities, insecurities, selfishness, and pride head on.

It started in May when my husband, was dealing with some great physical discomfort. I was sure it was nothing major, but when we couldn’t find out what the problem was I started getting concerned. He is a proud man, a man who doesn’t like asking for help – especially when it comes to finances and taking care of his wife and children so when he reached out and accepted the help from others, that’s when I started struggling. He was overwhelmed with it, he became depressed and anxious and it became more and more difficult to be around each other.

I ended up spending time with some friends of mine. I became fearful of our financial situation and my own depression swooped in and made the issues that we were dealing with that much greater in my mind. I felt far away from my husband and to help him, I felt that it was necessary to carry the burden of stress. The kids were unmanageable, I was tired, I was lonely, and I was also struggling with some anger that my husband was out of work and “being a big baby” about it all. I had to focus on staying healthy and caring for the kids as best as I could – even if it meant not being there for those who were around me.

I had a group of people surround me to help in the ways they were able. Laughing and games were a great distraction, people listening to my heart was encouraging, financial gifts were surprising, and the willingness to help while the need was great was overwhelming. I was filled with gratitude and I felt privileged to have all these people in my life who care.

Things started to get better in my home life as I neared the end of my pregnancy but post-partum depression can be a debilitating factor in the bonding between mother and child so I made the decision to refuse any allowance for that to happen. As such, my depression and any stressful situations surrounding me had to take a back burner. I put all I had in being the wife my husband needed and the mom that my kids needed – especially this new little person that I’d be bringing forth from my own body. My husband and a couple of friends were there as I labored and made themselves available when I needed them. We laughed and talked, enjoyed the kids (and bacon), and I cried and yelled a bit too, as I labored. Unexpectedly, I retreated to my room with my husband after a couple of contractions 7mins apart and shortly after, I was holding my sweet, little, new baby in my hands.

Some days were harder than others, but my focus was always brought back to the good that I was capable of doing in the lives of my children ~ that I am indeed capable of being the mother they need and the mother I want to be.

New friendships were formed, others renewed, others shaken, and others were utterly destroyed. It was hard to try to manage those and some I just had to walk away from and hope it worked out because my health, my husband, and my kids have to come before anything else. It’s hugely important to me that my kids know that they come first, that my husband has a wife that he can count on and rely on even when he’s constantly jerked around at work, and that I am strong enough and mentally capable of doing just that. I pray that someday I’ll reap the benefits of making that decision and that some of those friendships that can be healed, are, but if not I have to find my solace in knowing that I did what was best for my family at the time.

During this trying time in my life, I was blessed to spend time with a family friend whom I’ve known since before I can remember. She’s always been like a big sister to me. It was during this time that we found how much help we were to each other – not because either of us *needed* the other, but that it sure was nice having the companionship and help when life can be hard sometimes. When I was in the darkest of dark times, she was there to allow me the time to work it out without having to be alone and most importantly at the time, support me and my husband despite how poorly I was feeling about him. It saddens me to know what I thought of him during such a difficult time for him, but I kept looking at him as the man he really is, the man I love, and the man I’m devoted to.

Sadly, that friendship ended unexpectedly and abruptly. I’m still healing from it but I’m certain I’ll be stronger for it someday. However, before that came to be, my husband and I decided to buy a home to accommodate for our growing family and boy have we been blessed! A beautiful home close to town but also in a peaceful location that allows for the privacy that we long for. Last spring we looked at houses and found a house that was the size we would have liked to have but no yard or even a driveway. It was so beautiful inside and we almost bought it despite what we would be losing. We felt the unction to wait and that God has something planned for us; we need just be patient. He’s proven Himself true.

Just think of it! God has increased our portion… and here we were so grateful for our 3 bedroom mobile home. God is so good to those who are grateful – and good really does come to those who wait!

So much life left to live and that is what I purpose to do.