Monday, December 23, 2013
And tonight, we moved our only tv into the spare bedroom- a semi-man-cave set up. And I already LOVE how peaceful it feels downstairs. It's going to be inconvenient at times, I know, but I'm really hoping it helps limit screen time for everyone (especially the toddler) and force us into more family time. And for me, I hope I do more projects and read more.
I say it every year around this time but this IS the year. It has to be.
Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and I'm already excited for New Years and cleaning all the decorations up and starting "fresh".
But I don't want to get ahead of myself- first to enjoy Griffin's first real Christmas. It's going to be so fun to watch him 'get' it!
Sunday, December 15, 2013
I 'gave up' Facebook from Thanksgiving to New Year's, although I didn't want to put strict rules in this experiment. I've been checking messages, made a couple posts, updated my profile picture, etc but in general I've done almost no 'newsfeed scrolling'.
And you know what?
It's life changing.
Yes, I'm out of the loop.
No, I don't miss it.
In fact, almost every time I cave in and fill a moment of boredom with fb, there's a post I wish I hadn't seen. Something that, honestly, makes me envious.
Pictures and posts of things I wish I was invited to, could afford to do/have, was creative or skilled enough to do, had the time to do...you get the idea.
I'm thoroughly convinced that facebook replaces the reality of relationships with the illusion of connections that ultimately leave me (and maybe you) discontent with the amazing life I have.
Not to mention the sheer amount of time involved in 'staying connected' via the 'newsfeed scroll' further distracts me from doing the things I want to do, including building the relationships that would get me invited and included in all the pictures and posts that leave me feeling, ironically and ultimately, lonely.
Facebook, you are fast loosing your appeal to me.
Maybe next I can kick my sugar habit?
Sunday, December 1, 2013
Saturday, November 30, 2013
Do you ever just wish things were easier? And then feel guilty because yoy know they could be worse? Yeah. Me neither;)
Tonight was one of those nights where nothing seemed to work correctly and I ended up having a big ol' pity party.
I'm blessed beyond measure but life is still hard. Feelings mess everything up.
And Christmas tree lights are stupid. I'm recycling all the old ones and buying new LED ones tomorrow. Whoever came up with the 'hunt for the one burned out bulb' plan should be shot.
Friday, November 29, 2013
I decided to quit facebook for the Christmas season! It just felt like that's what I was being called to. Less screen time, more focus. Continually striving towards greater simplicity. This was day #2 and so far no gapping hole, lol! Mostly I just feel less distracted. I know I shouldn't get cocky just two days in but it feels good and shockingly easy and incredibly free-ing. Like I've lost weight. I'm going to try and blog more and sort of document this experiment over the next month. What I plan and what actually happens are always so different but God always does something. Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas!
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Four kids (3 and under), one of them being Griffin, is e.h.a.u.s.t.i.n.g!
Two are infants that just learned to crawl. So the get into each others way and chase me all over.
One more day, we can do it!
Today was pretty much a disaster from start to finish.
Griffin was up at 5 am. He sort of dozed until 6, when he woke Sullivan up too. Madeline cried all day long anytime Griffin got near her. Sullivan only napped once (at 9) and then blessedly again at 4. He's started crawling and quit his pacifier this week. And has two top teeth that look like they've broken through but you can still feel gum over them. He is miserable and therefore, I am miserable. He hasn't slept longer than an hour in 4 or 5 days.
I would not have made it without a dear friend dropping by (and bringing caffeine!!)- Thanks for saving my sanity, Tracy!
Tomorrow, assuming the boys crash early again, we're headed to the girls house. They sleep until 8:30 or 9 every morning and I'm thinking, if my boys are going to be awake anyways, that's 3 more hours with only 2 kids. Getting out the door before 6 am is going to be a feat deserving of a medal!!
The most important thing from today is that God has definitely answered a prayer for direction. I most definitely do not want to earn additional money by doing a full-time daycare or even full-time babysitting. Or by fostering infants. I really will take a class room full of middle-schoolers over a house full of toddlers any day. :)
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Well, I started today off with a little bit of Bible time! I'm going to focus on my tiny bit of success instead of far I have to go. Pretty sure I'll never workout again. Maybe when kids are in school? Sullivan has been on a daytime sleep strike this week...that's fun. BUT he has learned how to crawl and he's cute so I'll cut him a break.
Side note: I watched my friend's daughters today (2 and 9 months) and although I love them and they are super easy, I am sooooo glad God didn't give me so many kids so close together. A day here and there is one thing, lol! I grovel at the feet of moms of multiples!
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Changing bad habits and eatablishing new good habits really is hard. After a great chat with the hubs last night I'm freshly inspired.
The plan is to write this out and hang it somewhere I see it everday, multiple times a day. And to add to it as I think of others, decide some aren't so important.
Essentially I want a daily to-do/priority list that looks something like this:
Last. Facebook/waste time
And I want all the things I want to do on there and higher in priority, especially the things I tend to forget about or the really big projects that wouldn't be so overwhelming if tackled bit by bit over many nights.
Turning this ship around is gonna be slow;)
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
I'm realizing that starting new habits is hard. Mostly because I forget or fail to prepare.
Earlier this summer I made it 8 days on "The Plan". I lost 8 pounds and felt great. I was full, full of energy, sleeping well. It rocked. And was so much work. It's something I can't manage when I'm this busy. But I'm trying to establish the habit of drinking 16 ounces of lemon water every morning. I'm one for three.
One for three at working our.
Zero for three at reading my Bible.
The good news: tomorrow is my last day working until the 22nd. And from now on we've agreed I need to work way less. It's just not worth the tiny amount of cash I make for all the stress it creates.
I'm just a pendulum swinging back and forth hoping to some day settle closer to who I want to be. Calm. Organized. Flexible. Free. Healthy. Peaceful.
Monday, October 21, 2013
I'm attending a women's Bible study on the fruit of the spirit. Tonight we discussed gentleness and faithfulness and we watched a video by Ann Voskamp on trust.
Her words really resounded with me and our to-sell-or-not struggle. We both feel an extreme lack of direction and neither of us know what we want to do.
Ann linked our gratefulness for our yesterdays as bridges to our tomorrows. That distrust is practical atheism.
The thought that crossed my heart was, "Maybe if I focus on my past with gratefulness, the future will come clear."
So with that in mind I'm going to make a list this week of every single thing that crosses my mind to be grateful for. I have so much, big and small. I can't wait to see what God does in my heart and life this week, I know it will be good!
Monday, September 23, 2013
I really miss having a small group that I can be open and honest with- thank goodness for the interwebs.
Why am I so fickle and so easily hurt/upset. Over DUMB things. Like other people getting new cars. Or being selfish, like they always are. Or having friendships you wish you had. Why does it suck so much to try and do things 'right' and watch everyone else pass you by, doing it 'wrong' and seemingly happy about it all.
Just feeling like a lonely oddball tonight. And feeling sorry for myself. It's pretty ugly.
You know, when you get upset over one thing and then you just start crying over everything that has ever gone wrong, or hurt you, or isn't fair.
And then you feel guilty because there are hostages in a Nairobi shopping mall, and Christians in Pakistan have been picking up body parts of their family members for two days after a bomb went off outside their church, and there is so much garbage that animals all around the world are dying, and Diana just lost another son (that makes 3 sons in heaven), and on and on and on.
And then you just plain feel exhausted of life not being fair for you or anyone and wondering where in the world is God in all this pain, even though you know He's right there in the midst of it all...it doesn't always feel like it.
Please tell me I'm not the only one who has nights like this.
Ugh. I seriously hate social media on nights like this. I un-"show in newsfeed"-ed a bunch of people and pages tonight in an effort to stabilize this emotional rollercoaster. I may have to just quite it. Like I did with music. For my emotional sanity I pretty much only listen to worship music now. Even though I love other music, I just get so moody, it's not even worth it.
Anywhoo...here's praying for a good night's rest and some stability in the morning.
Thursday, September 19, 2013
I feel like my answers were divinely sent...and that I've known them all along, it's just that now I can put them into words.
What I really want? Focus and direction. I want to know what God has called us to, without any doubts. I am tired of just doing what is in front of me without a passion, focus, or goal in mind. I am soooo goal oriented, it's not even funny. I feel like God not giving me a goal is like a cruel joke...or a growing opportunity.
What I'm waiting for? God to reveal what all this waiting has been for! I know He's working. I know this time isn't wasted. But that doesn't mean I have to enjoy it!! Hindsight is always 20/20 and I can't wait to look back on this season and think, "WOW God, your presence is so evident! Thank you for having perfect timing and for guiding us."
Thursday, September 12, 2013
I begged to be allowed to attend the women's retreat with Sullivan but there was no budging on the rule. And that's okay- really. I trust that they prayed about it and made the correct choice. It still sucks and hurts but I trust. However, what I didn't realize until yesterday was that the words they sent back to me were empty. And that hurts even more.
I felt (and frankly still do) that I haven't been this in need of help/support/mentorship since high school/early college. I am desperate. My emotions are out of control. Raising a VERY strong willed boy is hard work and I have no idea what I'm doing. Being married to and parenting alongside someone who does not share my faith and convictions, is so so so hard. Add an infant on top of that. Financial struggles. And lots more and you get one hot mess. Me.
What I realized yesterday was that the response email I received was full of empty support. Words written from a safe distance behind a computer screen. Am I supposed to feel better that they prayed for me? Is that what Titus 2 exhorts women to do? Just pray from afar. Once.
Well, I think it requires more. I think that when someone pours their heart out, begging to be included, sounding as desperate as I did back then (it was even worse then when the hormones were raging more than they are now) you have to respond. In person. And yesterday, I realized that it hurt that no one did. That they essentially heard my pleas for help and left me to drown.
And yesterday, they asked me to help 'rescue' other people. To join them to mentor our church's young women. Which I would love to do. With all my heart.
But I'm currently drowning. I'm literally barely staying afloat. I'm clinging to Christ, my life preserver, for all I'm worth. Until someone offers me a hand- there's no way I can offer a hand to help others.
So I cried. A lot. Like all day. And I dreamed of saying nasty things to get my point across.
Instead I 1) settled for asking to be removed from the list for this and future requests (because until you have an ounce of a relationship with me, you haven't earned the right to ask for my help after you abandoned me in (one of) my darkest hour(s). And no, commiserating on facebook is not enough support for a new mom) and 2) told them again that I'm drowning.
And then today I decided to create my own life raft. I'm working on getting a women's group started for women like me- who are drowning but don't just want to bitch about it. Instead, they're looking for a safe place to be tired, vulnerable, hurt, tired, inspired, encouraged, and challenged. I'm still happy. I don't doubt any of my choices- in a spouse or to have kids- but I need someone to float with. And hopefully together we can rescue each other. I'm praying God sends a 'Karen'- someone just enough older and farther down the road to help lead the way. Otherwise, this could be comical. A bunch of drowning victims trying to save each other.
You never know. God likes to work so that HIS glory is shown.
Friday, September 6, 2013
"I'm not done yet."
Let me be fair: When I recount our line as "God, we're confused," that sounds tame, almost like a little old grandma who got lost at the corner of 5th and Lamar until a kindly police officer asked if he could help her and she chuckled and shook her head and said, "Well I guess I got a little confused!" and they shared a knowing laugh about who can figure out all these confounded streets down here? and he pointed her west and she made it to her destination just in time for the quilting guild.
When we said "we're confused", it involved crying and wailing and days when I couldn't get out of bed. It included a string of months where, I swear to you, time stood still. I sobbed over other people's happy adoption news as I typed nice words on their Facebook pages. It included a phone call from my mother-in-law after my daughter told her, "I'm worried about my mom." My hair started falling out in clumps and my fingernails peeled off in layers. I lashed out at Brandon and my kids and Jesus on bad days; on worse days, I wondered aloud if God had any control at all over this chaotic, broken world. I doubted his invervention and questioned his sovereignty.
So yeah, that's what I mean by "confused."
And again with this, the end to Jen's blog post:
God doesn't promise us a clean middle part of the story. He never said we wouldn't encounter antagonists and drama and surprise twists and heartbreak. We weren't assured a G-rated plot where good feelings are peddled and no one dies or leaves or fails or waits. God promised things like healing and restoration and redemption. Which implies there will be injuries and broken relationships and losses. When he speaks of beauty from ashes, he seems to know there will be actual ashes to resurrect beauty from.
If you are confused right now, if your story isn't going the way you thought, or if you're tangled up in the messy middle where hope is deferred, dear reader, it could just be that God isn't done yet. Your story is not finished. Every hero and heroine must wade through the conflict to get to the end, and you can trust God because he is good. If you have nothing else to cling to, remember this: God is good. He loves goodness and justice. He heals and redeems. He is on the side of love and beauty. He is for you. He is never against you. You may be against you, other people may be against you, but God is not against you.
It is okay to be confused; I'm afraid that is our lot as finite creatures dealing with an infinite God. Some of God's best heros were confused in their subplots. But I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on. Because God is good and he is for goodness.
And he just isn't done yet."
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
And guess what? I'm feeling SUPER tired and have gained some weight back. In just two days. BUT I'm not experiencing 'extreme emotionality' and I haven't had chicken. Hmmm?
So it's back to 'The Plan' tomorrow but this time no chicken.
And instead of eating, I'm going to pray.
For my sister who has a scheduled c-section on Thursday but really wants a chance at a vbac. And just got sent home from triage.
For my new niece, I can't wait to meet her Thursday (or before)!
For my husband, who finds out if he passed pro-teach on Friday.
For myself, who DOES get to go on the church retreat. I really really really need to hear from God.
For myself, who needs to change so that our family can change.
For my boys. All three of them. That God would would draw them to Himself.
I'm really getting excited for school to start. I love the chance to start 'fresh' and I'm thinking, praying, and dreaming about what our family's schedule should look like. What needs to get cut, added, prioritized, rearranged, etc. Thinking about morning's with the boys and incorporating Bible stories/lessons into our routine, bedtimes, workouts, etc.
Praying for, above all else, God's will. With our house. Our finances. Our jobs. Our lives.
Sunday, August 18, 2013
Things are still hard. Really hard.
Ryan finds out this Friday about ProTeach. Janae's c-section is scheduled for Thursday. Sullivan has a check-up at Children's on Tuesday. That's a lot of emotional stress for me. I think I will feel 10 pounds lighter when it's all over.
Still no offers on the house (I refuse to count $30,000 under asking price as an offer).
I'm usually okay with unknowns...I prefer a plan but I'm pretty good at rolling with 'it' but this time feels different. This week might just kill me. I have no idea how Ryan will react to his 'grade', passing or failing. God help us all if it's a failing grade.
I just might be able to make it to Visioncast. I really think I need it. At least I know I need a weekend away and I think it would be better to be with my church, focusing on Christ, than alone. Time to schedule another girls weekend away for sure.
Not much to say really. Just feeling better. Lighter. Encouraged.
Thanks Jesus ;)
Friday, August 16, 2013
It's so good to get it out, to let it go.
Because, ultimately, at the end of the day I want what HE wants. And I believe without a doubt that HIS ways are higher than mine.
And as I process all these feelings, I find comfort in David's psalm:
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters,
HE refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths,
for His name's sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me,
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
There really is nothing else, is there? It all comes back to Him. It all comes from Him in the first place. Who am I but a servant? This is not about me. These first world problems that I face. These emotions I struggle with. I live this life because I was rescued and redeemed, and it is an honor to give it back to my Savior. What a measly offering, this broken and sickly heart of mine. I am in awe that He can see and create beauty in it at all.
Goodnight. May peace be yours tonight, as it is finally mine.
My boys need it. My husband deserves it.
And I'm going to pray until I get what I want: A small group. With a 'Karen'.
I feel like a rubber-band that has been pulled tight for too long.
I'm feeling hopeless that our house will sell. After all the angst over deciding what to do, we are finally both on the same page at the same time...and it just sits. It's depressing and discouraging. I feel like God gave us both a vision of simplicity, smaller and simpler living, and it's not within reach. And at the same time, I wouldn't mind staying...just not with things the way they are. This is too much house for us, so I want God to fill it up. And to give us the means to afford it. Because we're so barely making it right now, it's so hard to constantly say 'no' because we can't afford a single thing. There are so many things I wish we could do but this stupid house and mortgage keep us from them. Like Visioncast, our annual church retreat. $100/person. Nope. Like an occasional date. HA! Not when we're using our church's foodbank just to keep food on the table. Like a camping trip. Or a Mariner's game. Nope. Can't do it.
I'm quitting facebook for awhile because it's not helping. It's making it so much worse to see everyone else doing all the things we can't.
I need set boundaries. To focus on the Truth instead of my feelings.
Truth I need to hear tonight: Hebrews 13: 5-6, "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.' SO we say with confidence, 'The LORD is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?'"
So even though I'm feeling left out, abandoned, hopeless, tired, angry, depressed, discouraged, useless- MY GOD IS HERE. I am NOT alone. I have NOT been abandoned. I have hope. I have a HELPER.
I WILL NOT BE AFRAID. What can mere mortals do to me?
And if you know me, you know I have a love/hate relationship with facebook.
I love it. I really do. I keep up with far flung friends and family, I get to see glimpses into my friends daily lives, watch their kids and pets grow up and do silly things, celebrate triumphs, mourn losses, prayer for those close to me as well as perfect strangers, the 'community' and camaraderie help keep me sane as a wife, mom, teacher, human.
But I hate it. It's addicting. I too often choose it over real people, namely my husband and sons. It's depressing to watch people get new cars, go on vacations, buy new homes, new clothes, new electronics, post happy pictures. I feel left out when people post pictures of events that I wasn't invited to or couldn't make it to. Or when a friend seems to be spending a lot of time with other people and not me. When other people get jobs, get raises, etc. It's one sided. Because I'm not really involved in their lives I don't know what is really going on. I don't know the whole picture. So it just leaves me feeling like everyone else has it easy and intentionally leaves me out.
And right when the results of this study were posted, I was (am currently) struggling with my contentment, my joy, my hope and I notice these things being directly negatively influenced by what I see on facebook.
So tonight, I'm going to tie up some loose ends and then take a break. I don't know how extreme or a time frame. But to be convicted, to see the negative results and do nothing- just isn't an option any longer.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Today went well...mostly. I went to my parents' house to work on painting but forgot my key. So I hung out outside with the boys waiting for my sister to get there with her key. I had brought lunch and had planned on eating as soon as we got there but because I couldn't get inside, I ate my snack first...and ended up sharing it with Griffin. I tried so hard to hide it from him because I was so hungry- it kind of made me feel like a bad mom!
I also ended up eating my lunch in 3 sittings. The salad, then the broccoli, then the soup. Dinner was in 2 sittings, rice and veggies first, followed by the carrot and beet salad later.
I cheated today too. I had a handful of grapes at my mom's house and a second set of 8 almonds tonight.
I don't think I reacted to almonds at all, I'm interested to see what the scale says in the morning!
Sunday, August 11, 2013
So tomorrow is another day 1. This time my goal is only 20 days and thankfully those 20 days come with a meal plan and recipes:)
I'm trying something new. "The Plan" by Lyn-Genet Recitas. Her premise is that by eliminating foods that trigger inflammation in your body (and every body is different), you can lose weight and feel great. Two things I want more of, lol!
So my goals, obviously- I'd love some help losing some baby weight BUT I'm not your standard 'girl' obsessed with the scale. I honestly don't care what the scale says as long as I can get back to feeling great. This time though I want to go beyond feeling great about how I look and feel to feeling great literally in my joints. I want to run again without joint pain. That is my biggest goal. And I'm willing to cut out or limit foods that may be preventing that.
So here's to healthy living...and feeling better than ever! I'll keep you posted on how things are going:)
Sunday, August 4, 2013
Not being allowed to attend my church's women's retreat with my 10 week old...still bothering me. In fact, it's bothering me more, not less, over time. Double in fact, I'm still crying about it. I'm still dumbfounded that other women can't remember how desperate they were for fellowship and connection when the kids were little. I can't believe they aren't willing to open up to 'us' and be a mentor/life preserver. It hurts my feelings in a very profound way, it makes me feel unwelcome and unwanted somewhere that I consider my home and family even more so than the ones I'm related too. I've been going to this church for almost twenty years and for the first time I am seriously considering leaving.
These are the people who loved me through my teenage years. Because they've invested so much into my life, I'm going to talk with a few leaders and get their opinions, seek their advice. I need to know if the attitude/culture is changeable or if I'm just not their target audience. Because that's okay (me not being their target audience) but if that's the case, I want to be a part of a body of Christ that is family friendly. And by that I mean so much more than has a rocking Children's church full of volunteers. I mean that people enjoy seeing you and your kids and welcome the little ones into the service. I'm not asking to let my 2 year old run rampant but he shouldn't be hidden in a nursery somewhere because he might distract an adult. Don't get me wrong, I love the nursery- in fact I run ours- but I wonder if we aren't missing out on some of God's blessing because kids are treated as an annoyance instead of a blessing (at least during the service). .
I need to know what's going on with my church, where my leadership falls because we're selling our house and looking at rentals. If' I'm looking for a new church as well, that expands our search area and could make a big difference.
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
I'm dreaming of really living my life, instead of facebook living.
We're so 'connected' thanks to amazingly awesome technology...but it's so superficial. I'm realizing all my closest friends have moved away and instead of calling them, I rely on facebook photo and status updates. Not cool.
And instead of complaining that God moved all my closest friends away...I could be creating new close relationships here. Investing time in coffee-dates, play-dates, group workouts, etc. instead of just scrolling through ecards, memes, and inspirational Jesus quotes.
So yeah, I'm still struggling to figure out a balance. I love facebook. It really is an awesome tool. But there is so much else I'd rather be doing...and two little boys and their daddy who deserve a un-distracted mom/wife.
And a God who is calling me to so much more than this 'virtual' life.
When I see how hard it is for him to bend over, walk, or even just breath I get so angry. I'm angry that he is still able to hurt me by not caring for himself. I feel like if I was good enough, if he just loved me enough- or his grandsons enough- he would take better care of himself.
Why isn't he willing to do what it takes to change? Why is he okay with dying young (because he will)? Sidenote: He had a massive heart attack 5 or 6 years ago....and now weighs more than he did then. I've never seen him this unhealthy.
He was breathing hard just sitting on the couch today.
And I tell myself that I hope he just dies soon so all this will be over. I know that makes me sound heartless but it's kind of true. I'm so tired of wanting my dad to love me enough to stick around and make the changes necessary for that to happen. I'm so tired of my heart getting hurt. I'm so tired of hopes and prayers unfulfilled.
I'm tired of hurting.
And it makes me sad because I don't think he gets it. I don't think he actually believes he's worth it. I don't think he believes that God so loved him that he sent his only son to die for him, so that he could have eternal life. I don't think he believes that we, his family, love him enough to hope for him in our future memories.
It's so bad that everytime my phone rings and it's my mom, I wonder if this is 'the' phone call. Today, Griffin couldn't wake Grandpa up when he wanted a popsicle. Thank goodness he was only napping, but I'm prepared for that to actually happen soon.
I hate being so worried. I hate that I still love him. I hate that his choices hurt me and are going to hurt Griffin. I hate that Griffin is going to lose Grandpa Joe and not have a lifetime of memories of him. It hurts. And pisses me off.
I don't actually hope he dies soon. I want him to live 30 more years (he's only 57). But I also want him to be able to tie his shoes without needing to hold his breath.
Is it any wonder that I sought out and married the opposite of this. The way Ryan cares for himself and his body helps heal my heart. I know he loves us enough to do everything in his control to be around for a very long time. He makes me want to be a healthier person too. He sets such a great example and I love him so much for it.
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Today I've been really fighting negative thoughts and feelings. Which is no surprise since we just talked about this last night in my book group at church. We're reading The Power of a Praying Woman by Stormie Omartian and chapter 20 is all about refusing to be controlled by negative thoughts, feelings, depression, envy, etc. I wonder how many of the women from last night have had a rough day today too? I definitely feel under attack.
Maybe that's why I wanted to write tonight. To talk about how, even though I appear to be a strong, has-it-all-together, happy person...I really just want to be wanted, liked, and welcome.
Our house is on the market, we're finally trying to sell. And so we're looking for something to rent or buy. And on days like this I'm looking farther and farther away from my community, church, and family because I don't always feel wanted, liked, or welcome.
In fact, last night at church, I saw flyers for our annual church retreat and I grabbed one in excitement. I didn't get to go last year and I really want to go this year. But all day today I've been wondering if I'm even courageous enough to ask if I can go. I don't even know if I will be allowed, let alone wanted and welcomed. I seriously feel like someone who's heart was broken and is scared to get back into the dating scene.
Earlier this year I wasn't allowed to go to our annual women's retreat because I would have brought my 10 week old. Because I choose to nurse on demand. Because I don't want to leave my baby so early.
And when I tried to change the rule, the response I got by so many people in my church is that babies are a distraction.
If I'm ultimately and finally honest with myself, this response has made me feel unwanted and unwelcome at a place I've considered home for almost 20 years. Except in the lobby where everyone wants to talk about how cute the babies are. But I don't want to be limited to the lobby damnit. I want me and my sons to be welcome and wanted in the service, at retreats and events. I get that they can be wiggly and noisy and distracting. But so can your phone. And unlike your phone, I matter. My boys matter. We matter to God and we should matter to you. Our presence should be welcomed and wanted as members of the family of God.
So now I'm faced with the dilemma...do I go to the church retreat with my now 5 month old son knowing full well how many people will resent me for it because I will be distracting them or do I just stay home hurt and bitter that I'm not wanted until I'm free of little people.
So there you go, the reason I'm looking for homes on the other side of the mountains or on an island far far away from here.
Just for the record, I KNOW that most of these thoughts and feelings aren't true. I know that my battle is with an enemy who wants to keep me away from good things, who wants me to live in fear, and base my choices on his whispers but I won't let him win. However, tonight the truth is my heart does hurt because of what has been said and done.
My goal is to inspire change in the attitude of my church in a healthy way. Not sure how to do that. I'll start by praying and sharing my heart whenever I get the chance. Blogging is great practice :)
Friday, July 5, 2013
Rule Breaker- What parenting 'rules' did/do you break?
One Trouble After Another- Just hold on to Jesus!
My sons are not gone, they're just dead- By Kyle Mattews
Breast Kept Secrets- a weekly series this summer
One Sunday Morning by Beth
Rainbow Connections by Kelly
Advice by Kelsey
For such a time as this. Now.
Ultimate Summer Bucket List
It gets better
Alternative Childbirth classes....this one is FUNNY!
I'm going to miss...
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
And I just want to set the record straight. There is very little to be envious about in regards to teachers. Seriously. On average new teachers last 3 years. And then they quit. Give up. This is one of the hardest jobs out there. If you disagree, I dare you to volunteer in a local classroom for an entire week. In June. Double-dog dare you.
In reality, if it weren't for summer break, there would be no teachers. For reals. We'd all go certifiably insane. Because of your kids.
So this summer, if you meet a teacher, instead of saying "It must be nice", say Thank You- and then buy them a beer, because Lord knows they need it and you wouldn't want their job.
Monday, June 3, 2013
The last three weeks I was frantically trying to prepare for our trip to Michigan, then we were there, then we were home and recovering from a nasty (NASTY) stomach bug.
Now it's Monday again. The scale said 161.8 this morning :) I'm going to take all the credit for that minimal weight loss and tell you that I've been eating really well and exercising regularly.
Reality is, I never threw up but I was thoroughly 'cleaned out' by this bug -if you know what I mean ;)
So I started those 30 day challenges (squats and push-ups) and had to stop around the 10 day mark- too much too fast and I was feeling 'bad' pain in my knees and shoulders.
And after spending a week with my grandma and aunt (both suffering with arthritis) I decided that pain in my joints at 33 isn't a good thing- and since it's always what keeps me from working out- I'm looking into anti-inflammatory diets. Along the lines of 'The Plan', Whole 30, etc. Just doing some reading first...I'd love to be able to get back into running without my knees bothering me just because I changed my diet! And if I lost a few pounds in the process that would be the icing on the cake! (Something I probably won't get to eat much of!)
If I get a chance, I'll post some pics of Michigan later today but I doubt it. This stomach bug closed my friends' daycare and I have her 2 boys (4 and 7 months) in addition to mine...and I hear one of them waking up.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Discontentment versus Disappointment by Rachael Andrews
Book recommendation, Praying for your kids (specifically), Thankful, and 'All Natural' by Carina Lee
One Year (and pretty much everything she writes) by Diana Stone
Home, Return to Sender (and every other post too) by Sarah Rieke
Mother's Day Reflections, Can You Imagine?, Clean Eating (again, all her posts really) AND a new blog Nourished by Lauren Casper
Life with Three by Rachel Garlinghouse
Mombie moments by Beth- my new source of comic relief and reality checks!
Parenting Truths by new parent Amanda
I almost didn't publish this but decided I will keep doing posts like this because I want to be able to find these posts again someday when I really need them!
So, big sigh of relief just having someone who knows talk to me. I didn't realize I was carrying around such a big ball of worries until they were (mostly) relieved.
I'm still not happy about crushing a pill and trying to get him to drink it. And am going to research if there is an alternative.
I also want to meet with a naturopath and just hear their opinion.
Getting the pill into him is such a stressful thing. I 'spilled' one today after it was crushed. And he puked it back up two days in a row. And I just feel like it's all going to be my fault if he has developmental delays. At my midwife appointment yesterday I received so much encouragement and nice words! Thanks ladies for reassuring me that all will be okay and that we'll get the hang of meds! Those girls are the nicest, most sympathetic, and understanding group of women when it comes to how a mom reacts about her baby. I'm going to miss them!
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
And it's obvious that of all days I should have started with God, this is one of them. I have SO, so, SO far to go- God has his work cut out for him! That's the honest part. I'm not perfect. I'm a task oriented person. My people skills are by biggest weakness.
The other part is I'm feeling really attacked tonight. Like all the voices in my head are beating me down. And there's only one someone who thinks that means victory. Ephesians 6:12 "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."
Even knowing that, it's a hard fight. My spirit is wounded and Satan know right where to hit and what words to use.
Tonight, especially, I miss having a small group. But God moved all but one of them out of state (and that one he took to Africa for a year).
Even though I'm not a scale addict, I'd really like that number to be lower. Like 135-ish.
Let's not even talk about my diet, okay? Suffice it to say, it's been a stressful busy week and I've gained a pound.
Yesterday I started two 30 day challenges: Squats and Push-ups.
Sunday, May 12, 2013
1) God and 2) my physical health (getting my strength back)
1: God will never not be a part of my everyday but what is missing is time in the Word. Such a hard thing to make time for with the busyness of life. I used to thirst for my daily quiet times...now with little running around and stealing my sleep, I have a harder time making the time- and I need it more than ever. For their sake. For my sake. For the sake of everyone around me. SO, this is my first big rock. Every day for the next 28 (that's how long to make a habit, right?)
2: Pregnancy has a way of adding pounds and eating muscle. And I desperately need mine back...to protect my back! And set an example for my boys. SO, this is my second big rock every day for, you guessed it, the next 28 days.
Because I can't do anything without a plan: I'm starting the New Testament again- I've already read through it once this year but just don't feel up for the OT. This time, slower, deeper, and more journaling (here and on paper). As far as getting my physical strength back, I also have a plan. Simple (stole it from facebook) 30 day challenges. Pushups and squats. Start off small, add to the number each day. That's my minimum. On days that I can, I'll do a pilates or yoga dvd. On days that I can and it's nice enough, I'll get in a walk.
Check back on Mondays for updates! Once these two habits are firmly established, I'll move onto some other big rocks...and hopefully, the smaller ones just fall into place.
Saturday, May 11, 2013
And yet, there always seems to be more.
How is it possible that I 'nested' in this house just a few months ago and now I feel like I need to do it all again?
Both the hubs and I come from homes where there is too much stuff. Mine was more of a "I might need this someday" family, his was more of a "look at my collections" family.
I dread the day all that stuff becomes our responsibility.
Friday, May 10, 2013
Thursday, May 9, 2013
It seems my life is a pendulum swinging past 'balance' until I reach one extreme or the other.
Although, as I age I feel like I'm getting better at saying 'no' and thinking before I say 'yes'. Marrying my husband, a true introvert (I'm a 'barely' introvert) has also changed the amount of 'stuff' I do and commit to (although probably not as much as he would like, it is much less than I used to do).
And I've been thinking about what needs to be done better and what needs to be cut as I adjust to parenting two littles.
I've got a few major commitments in the next couple weeks, the pendulum is way too far over in the 'thousand things poorly' side currently. I'm really looking forward to pushing it back towards balance....just in time for summer and maybe even spend some time as a family in the 'too few we're on vacation' side. :)
It's a constant ebb and flow, and I'm okay with that. It's just a re-evaluate kind of moment for me.
Mostly, I want to 'do' raising my boys and having an awesome marriage right. All else is 'extra' and I need to hold it with open hands, God can ask me to give any of it up at anytime and I need to be ready to say, 'Okay.'
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Today started with a traumatic iv placement followed by a thyroid scan using a radioactive tracer. Sullivan's scans showed no evidence of uptake, meaning his thyroid didn't 'uptake' the tracer they put into his blood stream (and it should). So they had us come back at 1pm for an ultrasound to see if he even has a thyroid (which he does!!! YAY!). So now, we just administer thyroid meds daily and have a follow up with an endocrinologist next Wednesday, back at Children's.
The best part about today (besides having awesome medical insurance, having access to a world-renown Children's Hospital and specialists, and Sullivan having a thyroid) was lunch at The Ram! One of my favorite restaurants, it was a nice break- especially since we didn't have time for breakfast this morning! THEN we managed to hit Happy Hour at Starbuck's on the way home and scored half-price fraps...this momma was in desperate need for some caffeine!
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
As far I can tell, I did not actually forget anything.
But what I have figured out is that with my personality, I need Mondays to be my 'Sabbath' day. The day I reset for the next 7 days. It sounds silly but even if I clean on Sunday, mentally it helps me so much if once a week I 'clean' my house from top to bottom. I say 'clean' because it's mostly straightening and wiping down, but it just helps me feel ready and organized for the coming week.
I also love that Monday nights is 'Women's' night at our church. It's when we have our forum/bible studies and I want to keep that going! I feel like it's my special time to feed my soul. Plus, Daddy's in the habit of running Monday nights and I want to keep that going. So much so that I'm willing to spearhead/lead the next Bible study if necessary!
So there you have it. I've learned something about myself that I probably already knew but now I can put it into words. And if I decline an invite on Monday, just know that it's nothing personal!
Monday, May 6, 2013
Food is, and always will be, my weakness. I have zero self-control and am so quickly forgetful about my goals. And when I'm
Speaking of...I'm going to go enjoy a cookie:)
This is going to be hard!
Sunday, May 5, 2013
And how misunderstood I am because of it.
There are lots of posts on here that deal with it...I've done a bad job of labeling them but you can look on the sidebar for links if you want to read more.
The fact is, I have fought for and still do fight to maintain contentment and joy. I fight because I truly believe it is a biblical mandate to be content and joyful in all circumstances. And it really is a fight to take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5). A hard fight. And it's something I've always struggled with, just ask those that knew me in high school and college:).
Lately, in the last week or so, I've been realizing that there are two things in particular that the enemy is using to chip away at my contentment. These two things are really benign but they have had a big impact on me lately: 1) HGTV and 2) Facebook healthy living groups.
HGTV: Watching too much of this makes it really hard for me to be content in our current home in it's current state (crappy kitchen, dirty carpets, grass-less backyard, etc) with our current budget (zero). So I'm cutting it out/limiting what I watch.
Facebook: I have 'liked' multiple healthy living pages and I love the recipes, ideas, and articles they share...but I can't afford (financial or time) to be 'that' person right now. I feel my frustration (with our finances and life circumstances), anxiety (about how I'm ruining my family's health), and depression levels rising. So guess what, I've hidden those pages from my newsfeed for now. I can still look them up when I want to, but now I'm the one controlling how much I see and when I see it.
So there you have it. I'm choosing joy and contentment. I'm fighting for it.
What in your life is robbing you of joy and contentment?
Prayers! This battle is a hard one that never ends.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
And I paid bills.
And I crunched numbers.
And I'm trusting that God has a plan all figured out and will clue me in as I need to be.
Because we won't survive without his intervention.
Wish we'd taken FPU (Financial Peace University) before buying our house. And going back to school. And. And. And.
Sorry Dave- no gazelle intensity here...just the tortoise slowly plugging along. Someday. Someday. We'll finish the race strong...it just seems so far away.
Monday, April 29, 2013
What I'm excited about this morning: It's been a month and it's a Monday. I love starting things at a 'starting point'. Mondays are great for that:)
So Sullivan is up to 10lbs 7oz (as of Friday)- he's growing much slower than Griffin did, which is fine. The pediatrician isn't worried at all. It's just weird having a 75% baby after having a 99% baby.
And I'm down about 26lbs. I was down 29lbs the last time I weighed myself (but I can't remember when that was!). So even though I haven't officially been cleared to workout, I'm starting. I went on a great walk yesterday and am going to start adding in yoga/pilates. I need to build my core back up in order to take care of my back!! I'm starting to get the same reaction I had after Pumpkin was born- my hands falling asleep/tingling
One thing you need to know about me, is that despite how type-A I can be, I've toned down a lot over the years. So nothing about this will be precise. I weighed in around 191 lbs at the end of this (and Pumpkin's) pregnancy. I weigh 165 this morning. I started both pregnancies around 150, but weighed 125 when I got married. I'd like to get back to 130-135. So that's my weight goal. Honestly, even if the scale never gets there but I get back into 'non-jiggly' shape, I'll be happy. Until I'm done nursing and I can have the ladies reduced, I don't know what a reasonable and realistic goal really is :)
Sunday, April 28, 2013
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Erin is the author of four (FOUR!) books in the 'Christian Mama's Guide' series. And they are A.W.E.S.O.M.E. Seriously.
The Christian Mama's Guide To Having a Baby: Everything You Need to Know to Survive (and Love) Your Pregnancy
The Christian Mama's Guide To Baby's First Year: Everything You Need to Know to Survive (and Love) Your First Year as a Mom
The Christian Mama's Guide To Parenting A Toddler: Everything You Need to Know to Survive (and Love) Your Child's Terrible Twos
The Christian Mama's Guide To The Grade School Years: Everything You Need to Know to Survive (and Love) Sending Your Kids Off into the Big Wide World
I've read the first three, since they pertain to my life right now. And I'm not kidding, if it weren't for the humor, prayer, and focus on God in Having a Baby, I don't know if I would have survived my second pregnancy. Where was this book when I was pregnant with Pumpkin Pie?! Erin does something that no one else in the Baby industry does- she focuses everything on God and makes you laugh. I will be giving every new mom I know this book for sure! It isn't the only book you'll need- Erin doesn't go into depth the way 'What to Expect' or other exhaustive week-by-week books do but that's what makes her book so great! It's a quick, light, informative read that will have you ordering Baby's First Year before your bundle of joy arrives!
Even though this is my second time around, I'm thoroughly enjoying Baby's First Year. There is so much I've forgotten about...and Easter Egg is so different from Pumpkin Pie, I'm desperate for advice and ideas. Hands down the best thing about this book is Erin's ability to point an exhausted and often times frustrated mom towards God and His wisdom and promises.
Basically, I can say the exact same thing about Parenting a Toddler. I've never done this before. And by 'this' I mean survive the ups and downs of parenting a tiny little dictator. Again, I'm so thankful for Erin's humor-filled parenting advice and her gentle way of pointing me towards Christ! What a breath of fresh air in the parenting book world!
I can guess that I will enjoy The Grade School Years just as much...and probably won't wait 2-3 years to read it!
If you are interested in WINNING The Christian Mama's Guide to Baby's First Year, all you have to do is leave a comment below telling me a little about your bundle of joy! For an additional entry, "like" my facebook page!
All opinions are mine, I was not compensated in any way for this review!
Monday, April 15, 2013
1) I'm grateful. I'm grateful that my family is all healthy and safe under the same roof with me tonight. Acts of terrorism, like what happened today at the Boston Marathon, always remind me to be grateful for the ones I love and each and every day I get to spend with them.
2) Tonight's message from Beth Moore, what I got to see, really connected with me and was a great follow up to Pastor Rick's sermon on Sunday. God is working on this heart of mine!! I'll share more as I find words to describe what I'm thinking. :)
Sunday, April 14, 2013
Only once again it home for me in a way I doubt Rick planned on! LOL!
Sullivan has been 'colicky' (for lack of a better explanation) lately and I've been thinking about cutting out dairy to see if that makes a difference.
And today's main point was, in my own words, some things are worth everything.
Obviously my pastor was talking about the Kingdom of Heaven.
I'm talking about a baby who doesn't cry all.the.waking.time.
According to my 'sources' this needs to be an all-in experiment...for an extended period of time.
SO, tomorrow morning, my sad self will be eliminating ALL dairy for at least the next two weeks.
Feel free to cry with me. And pray for me! (And for Sullivan!!)
Thursday, April 4, 2013
A little too well, if you ask me.
I ended up taking 3 doses. About 30 minutes after the 3rd dose I had my first contraction. About an hour later Sullivan Royce was born!
I'll give you the whole story when I have a chance :) Just wanted to share our newest JOY!
Friday, March 29, 2013
Sunday, March 24, 2013
A seriously awesome look at fitting in your skin!
After Steubenville by Ann Voskamp
An incredible look at the worth of women, through the eyes of Jesus, and what we need to teach our sons (and daughters).
Bringing it down a notch by Kristen Howerton
Seriously. Seriously. Isn't wearing green and adding some food dye enough!?!
Raising Daughters by Kristen from We are THAT Family
I think I needed to hear this for ME too! Great read for ALL women as we all have other women and girls in our circles of influence, whether we are raising daughters or not.
101 Snacks by Stacy Myers
Oh my goodness, Stacy says these are for the husband on the go...no way! They are for everyone!! I can't wait for 'maternity leave' and to try some of these out!!
Humility 101 by Rachel from Dreams of Perfect Design
Exactly how I feel about raising a child...the experience is so humbling! I really was a perfect parent before I had kids:)
Peace for Bad Days by Erin MacPherson
It's always encouraging to know I'm not the only one...
Better Me Than You by Missy at It's Almost Naptime
A powerful reflection on what we're really celebrating at Easter.
Letter to Mothers by Ginny at Cheetos For Breakfast
A great reminder for mom's of ALL ages.
Sharing? by Very Bloggy Beth at Popsugar
Hmmmm....what do you think? Raises a lot of good points and thought provoking.
Friday, March 22, 2013
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
I've been so, so, so hormonal lately. This is so different than what I remember with Griffin. Like out of control. God bless Ryan for putting up with me, I know I've been trying his patience. And God bless Griffin for being so forgiving. But the cure is delivery so we wait.
Why Baby can't come...
Today: My sister has her gender ultrasound today. And I don't want my baby to have to share the limelight. I want them to be and feel special. Plus, I have a job lined up.
Tomorrow: I have a job lined up and my sister will have just announced what they are having.
Friday: It's my in-laws 40th anniversary...and again, I want Baby to have their own special day.
I'd prefer baby to wait until Sunday night or later because....
Saturday: is a good friend's wedding
Sunday: a good friend's son's 2nd birthday party.
So there you have it Baby. See you next week:)
Plus, we still don't have names. ARG!!!
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Tonight I was so tired. I was showered and in pajamas by 5. Grumpy and in bed by 7. Ignoring the toddler while he watched a dvd in bed next to me while I tried to sleep. Now it's 10:15pm and I'm wide awake, despite the fact that I haven't slept yet.
I get really uncontrollably emotional when I'm over-tired. Add into that, 'normal' end of pregnancy hormones and you can imagine that my face is red and splotchy and I sound really awesome trying to breath right now. Although I desperately need sleep...I need 'this' more right now.
What is 'this'? I don't really know how to explain it, other than I have found a 'community' and I cling desperately to it at times like this. A place where I can find other women, other mommies, other wives struggling with the same things I'm struggling with. All striving to do this life well, to follow Christ, to be great wives and moms...and sharing in the hardness of it all.
It's what keeps me reading and searching for great blogs. It's what is driving me to write more, share more, and offer more of myself.
And up at 10pm when I'm distraught because I yelled (multiple times) at my 2 year old and the husband because I'm so freaking annoyed by everything right now....'this' finds me THIS. And I know I'm not alone. In a profound way, God is using other women to reach me, grow me, rescue me.
And I want to be a part of that.
Motherhood, wife-hood, Christ-following...it's all SO HARD sometimes. I hope, if you're reading this, that you can find a little friendship here on my corner of the internet. That you'll browse through some of the blogs I read and find encouragement too. That together, we can do this...and do it well. Better than if we were 'alone'.
Thursday, March 7, 2013
It could be allergies but I'm doubting that.
Sneezing, drippy nose, sore throat, sinus pressure.
YUCK! (And I just got over this).
I don't want to labor while sick...BUT...I am so ready to meet this baby!
I am SO tired. Literally.
And tired of not being able to sleep. Not being able to eat. Tired of being 'obese'.
I've got a busy day planned today. Ikea tomorrow (and our carpets are getting cleaned!). A friend's baby shower Saturday. Dinner with friends Sunday and a possible belly painting session. Work on Monday.
And Baby is allowed to interrupt any of it. LOL!
I can't wait to say, "I'm not pregnant!" I can't wait for a squishy empty stomach. And a baby in my arms.
Sunday, March 3, 2013
I am such a classic procrastinator. I do my best work when there is a fast approaching deadline. I do no work when there is no deadline at all.
Which is why I think I enjoy making New Years goals every year.
I know I am goal oriented and need to self-impose deadlines if I'm going to get anything done. Unfortunately, I know they are self-imposed so it often doesn't actually help. However, occasionally, something happens which does in fact force a deadline upon me.
Like a due-date. Impending labor. A newborn plus a toddler.
And BAM! I have gotten SO MUCH done that I've been wanting to do for ages...years in some cases, in just a few weeks.
And all I can think is, I want to live like this all the time. I want to JUST DO IT. Not put it in a pile or add it to a list. A lot of these things I've finally accomplished were easy and quick. But because I let them sit and pile up, they become insurmountable.
SO, with that in mind. My goal is to simply get as much as I can done before Baby arrives and then do something, anything, everyday. Or at least every week.
And say 'no' more often. I don't want to add to my piles until they are smaller and my life is even more simple.
Last BIG thing I want/need to do before Baby is a trip to Ikea...hoping for Friday with my mom! And then I should have all sorts of goodies to help me finish up a bunch of things on my list:)