Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday-March 26, 2014

1 KITT (classic Knoght Rider)

2. Tank

3. Cell Phone

My #RGTHOPE Story

So I bet you are guessing what #RGTHOPE is right?

Well does this make more sense?

It was a mom’s conference held this past weekend in Corning NY.

BUT, my hope journey doesn’t start there.  It actually started a little over a year ago, when I was one of 26.000 people who downloaded Hope For The Weary Mom for free!  Earlier that fall it became  very clear that our life was changing.  Our then four year old son took a nosedive…in pretty much everything.  It was a super dark time!   We kept his issues a secret for as long as we could, we felt so defeated.  

I as a mom felt like I was failing in every area…everything felt as though I was literally one half step from the looney bin!   

So one night an offer came across my FB newsfeed about this great new ebook that was free for the first two dayside of its launch week….I snagged my copy and moved on, but unlike all the others I didn’t forget…it sat on my iPad beckoning my name…calling me.

Jump ahead to January 2013.  I again saw promptings  come across my newsfeed about this online book club …GUESS WHAT BOOK!  Yep you guessed it…HOPE FOR THE WEARY MOM!  I was two weeks late in joining, but I caught up quickly.  I’m not gonna lie, the book is hard! GOD REALLY DID MEET ME IN MY MESS!

On more than one occasion it got ugly…..I was broken, with guilt of a ton of things heaped on me.  I was hearing a lot of “you caused this”.  ”Getting a label like this will ruin his life”. “It’s because he got this when he was a baby” “it’s all in your imagination”. “He doesn’t look like anything is wrong with him”. “Well he is always so good for me”.   

I remember one day in particular, I was alone in the house, sun streaming through the windows of my living room.  I sat cross-legged on the green well broken in very comfy couch, iPad in hand.  Within minutes I was crying…and I mean all out, major ugly.  It was at that very moment the Grace of God was enough.   I knew that even if  I couldn’t meet anyone else’s  expectations because of the sacrifice of Jesus made on my behalf, I was good enough.  

And through my brokenness, my weakness, I started looking at my circumstances differently.  I took a stand for my son and I have chosen to fight for him.

Fast forward to September.  Just before another conference I became aware of Raising Generations today….I loved what it stood for!  And then I met September,…September McCarthy that is!   I heard her heart.  I saw her passion and spark, was lit!   

My fantastic hubby okay-ed the conference and when I found out that Stacey Thacker and Brooke McGlothlin were both going to do workshops at RGT I was over the moon excited! Not because they are authors but because they were so real in their book that you felt as though you have been best friends forever!

Again let’s fast forward to two weeks before the conference.  All of a sudden I became very emotional….not hormones this time people…I was excited yes, but as I look back I think God was making my heart tender.  We dodged a babysitting issue.  And then 3 days before the conference and it hit…this incredible fog.   I couldn’t put two thoughts together to make any sense!   I was dreading leaving…I had a TON of work to do before the conference.  The kids didn’t want us to go…yeah my hubby came too!  (That was the first time they ever  objected to our going away) not that we go that often….we are talkin Christmas of 2012..and hubby and I had the stomach flu…THE ENTIRE TIME! (Hmmmmm).   So on Friday I had to get the kids off to school, instructions for 2 sets of babysitters. Housework to complete, menu….food prep…all to leave by 9:45 ….we had Spa Appointments…hubby was treating me to my first manicure since my senior banquet in high school!

On the way our now 6 year old autistic son had a day off school.  He screamed for the first 30 minutes of the trip.  I nearly lost it and cancelled the whole trip.  My hubby made me push forward. A quick stop at a favorite store of mine…..then a peaceful rest of the trip to catch my ride.

We walked Market street

We checked it.

I went to my nail appointment.  Nope they told me 2:30.   They put me in at 2:15.   I guess I was supposed to get a reminder phone call, that didn’t happen!   No appointment.  I made it to my hotel room before I burst into tears.  The problem was this. EXPECTATIONS.  I had all these expectations.  Expectations are good and all, but sometimes they can become idols!  Silly ones at that.   Perfection is the most unrealistic expectation we can have!   Whether that be of someone else or ourselves.

There are a ton of expectations I had mostly for myself and you know what not one of them came true!  Ironic right!   So I went to dinner!   AND again was blessed over and above.  September spoke on the many faces of motherhood!   The women who spoke in the mom panel were AMAZING! I won a prize!     All that other stuff melted away.  AND THEN……Shaun Groves led worship!   PEACE!  PEACE was the theme for my weekend!   Despite knowing my 6 year old had gotten injured….I slept…PEACEFULLY!   

Day two wasAMAZING! I met Stacey and Brooke!  Stacey greeted me with a huge hug as though we really had been friends forever instead of a little less than a year…on FB!   And then, the most amazing thing happened.  I watch a small confrence room grow full…with all seats taken, these moms began to sit on the floor…they filled the floor……there were literally women standing in the hall straining to hear the hope they had to share!  It blessed my heart to see I was not alone in my weariness!  Again peace filled me!   Abundant blessings…amazing testimonies!   Joy, Hope, Grace….flooded the weekend….every nook and cranny!

Sometimes as moms we spend Sooooo much time feeding our families, whether in the physical or the spiritual, we forget to feed ourselves!   So I encourage you take part in whatever you can!   For as one of my professors said……”you can’t give what you don’t have”

BLESSINGS!

 

 

Everyday Hypocrisy

I once knew a man named Andy.   We worked together.  He was the huge, scary type.  You know the type…ex-military man who did crazy stuff, and though we worked in a Christian setting Andy didn’t know Jesus.   Andy was, like me, a people watcher.  One day Andy and I had a discussion it went something like this

ANDY- Why are you so different than everybody else here?   As soon as someone finds out I’m not a believer they try to save me.  But then I see how they treat other people.  I see how they act and what they talk about.  I hear them complain and act as though they are better than everyone else, but you, you’re different.  You don’t try to change me.  You treat others with respect…..( at this point my eyes kinda glazed over).  

When he was finished, I mustered a thank you.  I expressed that sometimes I fail.  I didn’t have it all together and then I said that my words were not what I wanted to point to Jesus, but my life, my actions.  My reLationship with Jesus was just beginning to blossom in such a way that I never had expected.  The above conversation happened during the summer.   

I had a lot of fun working that job during the summer but then came September……a whole new animal!  I found myself working nearly 12 hour days, 5 days a week.  I would start at 5 and get 10 minutes to eat breakfast at 8 and then work non-stop until 2:30 most days when I would get lunch….and then would clean up my stations and be done between 3;30 and 4. But because I could not drive I was stuck until sometimes 10 or 11 at night.

I struggled….A LOT!   A few weeks in I got incredibly sick….they gave me one day off but then I had to be back in, but because the nature of that job I had to be put into a different facet until I was better.  It wasn’t long after that I found out I was doing the jobs it took 3 people to do  the year prior.   During this time we believe I suffered a miscarriage!   But because of insurance issues could not get an appointment.  I was beginning to struggle mentally, physically, and emotionally.   Then started the criticism by one of my fellow employees.  She cricized everything I did…not fast enough, not good enough.  ”You need to do it this way” and at one point reemed  me out in front of a HUGE. Group of people.   I had bright spots!  Like John and Andy who witnessed these things….john would sing, Sweet Mary sunshine, when he saw me, and one day the two guys standing cracking eggs at an amazing pace, said ” it’s time to welcome you to the family, hold out your hands”.  I naively held out my hands in which they promptly squished two raw eggs.

They would utter words of encouragement in passing.

But then one day hubby didn’t have to work so he picked me up early.  It was mid -October and I remember  the setting sun, and sitting in the car, just sobbing.   I was at the end of my rope.  I poured out my heart in the midst of deep sobs.  Finally as my bestest friend held me.  He told me, ” as of October 31, you will be a stay -at -home wife.  I never wanted you to go out to work anyway! Give your two week notice tomorrow!”   I. Was. Floored. 

The next two weeks Flew by.  I had soooooo many friends I would miss!   These men and women challenged me deeply.  Including Old Chocolate Lips ( just writing that makes me smile). So the last day came……I hugged and said goodbye to everyone……I fought in my heart to not even acknowledge the one who had caused so much strife…..I didn’t want to, after all I wasn’t going to miss her…at all! But my feet moved in what felt like slow motion across the room.   And in that same feeling I uttered “goodbye—-” and we hugged.  She left and within a splint second  I felt this strong grip on my arm asI Was whirled around to find, big scary Andy with tears in his eyes.   “That,” he said “was the greatest act of Christian love I have ever seen”.  And at that it was over!   I was floored.  

At this point I didn’t understand the ramifications.

It wasn’t until a year and a half later I was expecting our first baby when a friend from that job called.  She told me she had a gift for us from Andy to drop off.  I had no idea what it was.  He had gone to the store and picked it all out, and she was going to pick it up for him and drop it off.   Well the day came she dropped it off.   What was it…a CRIB…..AND THE MATTERESS, AND CRIB SHEETS.   It was beautiful.   And for 6 years that crib served as an everyday reminder to first pray for Andy and his relationship with Jesus and secondly the cost of my actions and how I treat people.  

Now I say all of this not to build me up…..remember I didn’t want to.  I fought it!   And I am guilty as is everyone else of this everyday hypocrisy.  It’s all around us.  My most recent encounter was this weekend I sat at a table with a mom who went on and on about why she chose to not do something involving her kids…she vented about how people judged her because she opted out of this.  And in the very next breath she ranted about those who did choose this option for their kids thus judging them…”how could they possibly do this to them”

I have been told that listening to specifics types of Christian music because it wasn’t God honoring all while the person had on music that gloried getting drunk and cheating on ones spouse.

I have been taught that you should be in church every time the door is open…but only if you are not too tired, too late, don’t feel like it…and the list goes on and on and on.

And a few months ago I wrote a blog post about pet peeves and how we don’t have the right to air them as we please and not two weeks ago in expressing frustration those two ugly little words came spilling out my mouth and of course hubby was there to remind me of what I had written!  Ugh don’t you hate that!  I tried to defend myself but it was useless he was right.  

How many times as parents do we say. “You shouldn’t watch that because…….” fill in any number of not so good things and then as soon as the kids are in bed we pop in something that is worse.

Or we take a stand on something that God’s word talks about…say cheating on your spouse, and then our post on Facebook goes something like this “can’t wait for the season premiere of……..” Insert whichever show fits your fancy that has sexual immorality laced throughout it.

This is the very type of everyday hypocrisy Andy was talking about.  It was THOSE very things that kept him from wanting what others claimed they had….and insisted he needed.  The thing is he already had all those things.   

I was told going into the job “you need to watch out for Andy.  He will chew you up and spit you out. That’s what happens to all the newbies”.  

You know that the little people in our homes are exactly the same way…..I love them for it too.  It keeps my swelled head mostly deflated  ” Well mom you say that”.  Said one child after being reprimmanded for saying “oh poop”   Point taken!

 

February 27, 2014- 27 Million

Today there are estimated 27 Million million sex and labor slaves across the world.

Girls are being kidnapped and family members are selling loved ones into this detestable life!

That’s astronomical….THAT IS UNACCEPTABLE!

That is roughly 100,000 more people  than THE ENTIRE STATE OF TEXAS!

So here’s what I am doing….
I’m sharing this……
End it

I did this…..

A red x on your hand shows support for thos 27 million who are suffering in unimaginable situation.  It serves as a visible reminder to pray for those whose lives have been stolen from them!

Secondly I want to share with you the project that Worship leaders Matt and Beth Redman along with LZ7  have been working on….Today February 27, 2014 marks the release date of the co-work entitled 27 million that shares the true story of a young girl in the human trafficking industry.   I encourage you to go to iTunes and download this song!   It’s powerful!   

The Redmans are working with an organization called A21 which not only works to prosecute traffickers but also works to rehabilitate the girls rescued for these horrifying situations!  Won’t you show your support by purchasing this song, and be bold, put that red X on your hand!   

Buy it here

And I will leave you with the lyrics 

27 Million (Matt and Beth Redman and LZ7)

(Come on!)
{It astounds me that not only does human trafficking exist on the earth today, but there are actually more slaves than there have ever been before in the history of humanity. Its almost incomprehensible.}
See what the worlds done?
Came to London, she’s a nothing, a no one, shes undone.
Broken dreams, stolen freedom,
trapped in the night, trafficked and beaten.
All a part of an evil economy, nothing more than someones commodity…
A precious being, like you and me, a daughter, a sister, a somebody!
She was drawn by the bright lights,
she was tied up in their lights,
she worked right through the daylight,
no voice, shes a slave to the night.
27 million, like me.
(That’s 27 million on this cruel journey!)
(I wanna see you jumping! Go!)
We’ve got to rise up, open our eyes up!
Be her voice, be her freedom,
come on, stand up! x4
(Rise up! x2)
(Stand up!)
After the man left, she’s nothing left,
no one, no love, no one to call her friend.
She’s stuck in the pit of hell, she’s almost sick from the smell.
She’s numb, she’s dead from the inside out,
her heart is screaming but you don’t hear the shout.
Who’s the voice? Who’s going to break the door down?
Who wakes her up from the nightmare now?
She was drawn by the bright lights,
she was tied up in their lights,
she worked right through the daylight,
no voice, shes a slave to the night.
27 million, like me.
(That’s 27 million that need Heavens mercy!)
(Let’s go!)
We’ve got to rise up, open our eyes up!
Be her voice, be her freedom,
come on, stand up! x4
(Stand up!)
(Rise up! x2)
27 million, are you joking?
How do we let evil get so tight a grip?
Watching while the world falls apart, how do we let this stuff begin?
We’re not bothered if this offends, cause you got people that can defend.
But they aint got that, they got nothing.
Sometimes you gotta stand for something,
let this be the stand that gets your blood running!
Little girl don’t cry,
let me dry your eyes
in the darkest night.
(You’re not alone.)
Hold on through the storm,
you’re not on your own,
hold on, love will come.
(Let me hear you sing!)
We’ve got to rise up, open our eyes up!
Be her voice, be her freedom,
come on, stand up! x8
(Come on, stand up, stand up!!)
(Rise up! x4)
(27 Million, like me. x2)
(Come on, stand up, stand up!!)

Read more: Matt Redman – Twenty Seven Million Lyrics | MetroLyrics

 

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday- The Servant -Hearted

What does it mean to be servant-hearted?   It means that in everything you do, you want to serve others.  And in our current culture of gimme gimme gimme, these are rare souls who sacrifice their time, energy and sometimes health to impact the lives of others!  Christ lived that way….he came to serve not be served!  He fed, he washed feet, he healed he taught, He died!   The ultimate sacrifice!   There are few people in this world who serve just to help.  People serve for accolades…to hear people say “wow look what you did”.  Or just because “no one else will do it” but in the mean time grumble and complain that they have to do it!

I am so thankful for One of the biggest testimonies to living a servant hearted life like Christ.  This is my husband!

His ministry to families in our church. Our own family benefits greatly from  blessing of his self sacrificing love. Not only does  he care for us but countless others.  EVEN PERFECT STRANGERS! He volunteers to help many in very tangible ways though sometimes he is turned down.  The coolest thing though is he loves to do it.  Not obligated or grudgingly!  He does it because showing God’s love to others is so important.  He could stand in the pulpit and preach on showing love but if he doesn’t act on it, it’s empty and worthless.   

I love seeing him cut wood for people, crawl under their houses to fix a leak, cut down trees, build ramps, cut down pews that are too long for a new church, get a needed appliance, help people move, volunteer our vehicles and the list goes on and on. And on occasion when he has worked all day for church, he has stayed up all night to help get the house on track when I have had the flu or when I tore the ligaments in my foot.  Changing a young lady’s car oil and not picking on her since it had been a REALLY long time since it had been done.  Pretty much helping with any physical labor job that is /was needed!  And so on! The most incredible thing though is watching our kids catch that same self sacrificing love!.  

Now these aren’t normal “pastor” type jobs, but what opportunities he has had to be Christ to other people.   That’s what this Walk is all about, putting our words into action.  For the last 13 years I have watched him dedicate himself to people.  I have learned so much from him…..and you know what he caught this from his parents, and his parents caught it from theirs!.  It’s not  about money, it’s not  about what we are “entitled” to.  It’s not about our time.   It’s not about our stuff!  It all belongs to God.  That is a major lesson I have learned from my hubby, a lesson so grateful for!  A lesson I intend to live out to the best of my ability as long as I live on this earth!

Thank you love for not just paying lip service!  Thank you for not bragging or showing off the things you do for so many people and thank you for not getting angry with me or anyone else for that matter when we can’t see the whole picture!

Blessings

Defying Our Labels

Labels, let’s talk about them…..and I’m not referring to the ones sewn to the inside of our clothes.  I’m referring to the things we (or the world around us ) puts on us to try to define who we are.  The reason for this post in to answer MANY questions we have been bombarded with about our son and his Autism diagnosis.   We have been told that labeling him is a detriment to his future…..he will never be able to……. You fill in the blank because we have heard it all!

So let’s talk about labels.  Labels have been around pretty much since the beginning of time.   Labels are out traits, our ethnicity, our flaws.  Let’s take the simplest HAIR COLOR.

We have three basic hair colors.

Blond

Brunette

Ginger (or red)

Scientists debate on the existence of black hair or if it just ranges of browns….so for the case of this example we will just deal with the three mentioned above.  Now before I go any further I want you to understand that the labels I’m about to discuss are NOT My personal views but the views we in our culture seem to want to cultivate!

BLONDS- this seems to be the biggest label.  We say things like “I had a blond moment”.   We tell blond jokes.  Even blonds embrace it and insist that “blonds have more fun” .  We talk about the stupidity, lack of common sense, ditsy, space cadet and the list goes on and on and on……BUT. That is not true.  I know more intelligent, bright blonds!   I like my brother in law’s perspective on being a blond (he is one of those smart blonds I know) .  He says “being blond is  a hair color, inot a state of mind! ” isn’t that the truth.  I know far more ditsy brunettes that blonds!

GINGERS (or Red). Now this is the second most highly labeled hair color.  Red heads are believed to possess a mean streak.  They are said to have anger problems….and are teased relentlessly.  This was even more promoted by the Movie Problem Child!  Now I think you can all tell by the pictures on the side bar that my dear hubby is a red head!   I have friends who are  red heads and not a single one fit the bill!  They were all quiet, meek in spirit and a sweet personality!

BRUNETTES-  this struck me as kind of funny!  Mostly because I am one. It took some research to really figure out what negative stereotypes were tied with my group….so here were two……IMAGINELESS and UNTRUSTWORTHY.   whoa…those two things don’t define any brunette I know.  Untrustworthy in and of itself describes a fallen world, not a hair color.!

So I think it’s safe to say that those labels are pretty much inaccurate !   What about another popular labe?

Young and old.  As of right now I’m caught somewhere in between, some days I feel young while other days I feel as though I have the knees of a 70 year old.

My point in all of this is to say that I don’t know anyone who says….well this is what the world thinks of me because I’m a brunette so I’m going to act this way!  And I most certainly know plenty of young people who act wise beyond their years and older people who aren’t.  And I know plenty of retired people who are busier and embrace change better than those who are younger, thinking they should be retired and do nothing, and insist on things being the way they used to!  

Everyday all around us I watch people defy their labels.  That 101 year old who still shovels his own walk.  The blonde nuclear chemist.  The Moabite woman who left her heathen country to follow after God!  The blind girl who writes reads, crafts, and takes care of her family, the little autistic boy who is learning self control and reading.

Who cares if he ever has a government job.   That doesn’t define his life…that’s just another label!   Because I have a disability doesn’t mean my life is over!   My quality of life is not based on what I can and cannot do.  It’s about what I make of it.  It’s about serving God and impacting lives!  What most people don’t realize is that Edison, Einstien, Mozart and many othe”geniuses”  Show signs of being autistic.  I want my kids to be the best Tornado, Lady Bug, Weasel and Little Bean they can be.  Not the best blondes and brunettes they can be.   I don’t want them to grow up to be just like me, I want them to grow past me. Not the best soccer players, not the best artists or musicians.  I want them to glorify God in who he created them to be….He created them to be far more than artistic, autistic, blind, or brunette.  He created them to be His Children….no matter what they have or don’t have.

So my question to you is this…what labels do you need to defy?   What are you saying they can’t do this because…….?

Or I can’t do this because…….?   

Let me end with this verse

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Blessings

helping Kids Cope When Dad is in School

Things have been kinda quiet around here over the last few weeks!  Sorry about that…nothing earth shattering, just different focus.  But I think over the last few weeks I have spent a lot of time thinking about our family and the journey and transformation God has taken us through!   Hubby and I are fast approaching our 11 year anniversary!   It seems as though it was yesterday that we were standing before our pastor and he was asking “who gives this mam?” And I was spilling hot wax up my bare arm during the candle ceremony.  No it wasn’t a perfect ceremony, but during those moments I spoke the most important vow I have ever made, outside of dedicating my life to Christ.    And that was to help and support my husband in what he set out to do.   Have I always been supportive?  Nope, I’m human!   Selfishness creeps in. And I can convince myself ” I deserve…….”   You can fill in the blank!   

Most of our married life hubby has been in school.  The first 3 years hubby was working on his M.Div. (master of Divinity) we didn’t have a baby until the end.  Then hubby did his internship for a year, worked full time and was a part time associate pastor.  During that year we welcomed baby number two.   Hubby then started a doctoral degree but as we felt God leading us into full time ministry he took a leave of absence .  But during that leave of absence he started on his Th.M.  I was now expecting baby #3.   Who was due smack in the middle of his first semester!  Oh and did I mention that this school was 6 hours away and the first year HAD to be on campus.   And during this time we started the candidation process that led us from New York to Ohio, Illinois , NYC, AND EVEN TO Florida.   On a couple of Occaisions hubby would have to haul all of us out to one state for school, then go to whatever state we were candidaating in, then back to the school state, then back home to NY all while holding down that same full time job, and the same part time associate pastor job!   Outside of the Grace of God I’m not quite sure how we made it through the three years!   Yep!  THREE!   The first two were without kids!  That was easy!

So five years into our marriage we took a full time pastorate at the church we now call home!  Two years in we welcomed baby four.  All the while hubby was taking online classes and summer modules to finish his Th.M. Then three years ago we decided to finish up his doctorate, except since we lived nearly 3 hours away it was going to be very difficult  , so he opted to turn it into a masters degree in Linguistics (my hubby is one very smart cookie).   So then for a year he commuted twice a week.  Then life happened.  We bought our own home, so he took a leave of absence and planned to return to finish the next year, BUT THEN LIFE HAPPENED AGAIN.   Last year was what I would call a defining year for our family…..it just so happened to also mark our ten year anniversary!    Our third child who at the time was 4 digressed to what doctors now classify as an 18 month level. And we fought through muck acnd mire of red tape, insensitive people, and an amazing walk with God!   And a diagnosis of Autism.  But it left us with yet again another leave of absence!   So this year, this semester hubby is taking his last two classes!   

On this journey we have gone through so many stages……infants right up to *GULP* school aged kids ( ok so #4 starts pre-k next year). But through this journey we as a family have learned so many lessons!    And each new phase holds a new lesson to be learned.

In the infant phase:

  •  We hired two different girls to be a moms help.  It really helped because I was very pregnant with baby #3.  They were there in case I needed to go to the hospital ( my in-laws only live 2 miles away). I got to spend time with the kids during the day and then when the girls came they played with the kids while I did chores and then it also gave me someone who could hold a tangible conversation with!
  • It taught my kids to be flexible from a young age.  Just about anybody could watch them with little to no trouble.
  • Hubby learned the importance of taking time for the rest of us, even in the midst of craziness…and that is exactly what we lived in.
Helpful hints: The best thing to do is cuddle them, and invest in that helper.  We couldn’t pay those girls very much.  Our budget was TIGHT!  But my sanity was well worth the investment!
 
In the toddle/preschool age
  • This is probably the hardest phase on all counts since we had 4 kids in 5 years they have been in similar phases of life.  This has it’s pluses and minuses!   I love having my kids close together 99% of the time…..that other 1% falls into this category!    But more on that  in another post!  For me this was the hardest!   And the craziest!  Especially during the winter months.  It seemed I went from one crazy instance to another…..during that time we had stitches in a forehead, I broke my finger right after #4 was born and  then a year or so later the tip of a finger of  the youngest cut off!  (It was saved, but boy how crazy)
  • This was also the hardest time for the kids!   Mostly because they were too little to understand why daddy isn’t home yet….you have to answer questions like ” is daddy ever coming home” and so on.  They don’t understand time and have no patience.  We modified bedtimes because we didn’t yet have to worry about school!  They spent many a night conked out next to daddy in a chair 5 minutes into the movie they just had to see with him, but that meant the world to them.
  • Hubby learned that it’s not large amounts of time spent with us.   It’s horsey back rides, a quick pillow fight, or tickle matches.   
Helpful hints: reassure, reassure, erasure!  Especially if you or your hubby start school in this phase!   Separation anxiety can be a huge thing during this phase so do whatever it takes.  Kids are very forgiving so if something in particular doesn’t work, try something new!  Cut yourself some slack!  There are going to be CRAZY DAYS!  Their behavior (kids) might be reactive to the new routine!  Be patient, be calm……love them!
 
The school aged years.
  • This honestly has been the easiest…lol outside of the first week!   I was being tried that first week and hopefully I passed!  We definitely have a routine and the kids minus #4 have school that takes up most of their days.  I have learned to rely on others for help.  Like the first week,  hubby was at school, the very first day and our dog was close to not making it!   Matter of fact, her diagnosis wasn’t good either but I had to rely on someone to help me get her to the vet.  Then there was the same week the two oldest were in a car accident and were fine but I then needed to find them a ride home from school.  I think God wanted me to understand that it was ok to ask for help and we took care of that right up front !  I have learned preservence!  I have learned patience!   I have learned to communicate!  I have learned to serve others…mostly my family but others as well.  Sickness doesn’t have to define my day!  And most importantly that my attitude sets the tone!  If I’m grumpy so is everyone else!   
  • The kids have learned that despite all of the busyness that this isn’t going to be this way forever.  That daddy loves them and that daddy knows they need him.  They are more patient.  They are more understanding!
  • Hubby has learned it’s ok to skip a day of school to fulfill a need!  He has gained a deeper sensitivity to the needs of our family and he understands that I need to hear his praise that I kept the kids alive and happy and the house standing and mostly clean :).  He also has learned to take tiny amounts of time and make them special kid times.It’s very important for all of us to continue to grow and learn, and that is the same for my husband but if our family is not taken care of then bettering oneself is worthless.  Family always needs to be a priority!  
 
Helpful hints:  explain to the kids that life is going to be different for a time.  It’s not going to stay that way forever.  Daddy and kids could have homework time together.  Keep them busy!  Include them into what daddy is learning/ doing at school!  
Make them feel as though they are apart of what he’s doing. 
 
Not by any means is this perfection.  There is a lot of trial and error.  A whole lot of trust in God’s plan not my own.  And besides  all of this.  If I keep the service of my family at the center of my daily goals, and I keep my attitude in check with what God commands of me instead  of being self entitled, orI deserve, this….then my kids catch that same attitude of service!  I’d much rather they catch that then anything else!  Even if you are not embarking on the school thing, maybe your hubby has to travel a lot for work, or has to take a new shift of work….or the list goes on and on, but these principles can be adapted to almost any new situation your family is facing.
Blessings

 

My Biggest Fears……and Why

Lol….
I have two huge fears.

I have the fear of heights…..OR more or less the fear of falling from them. Why I have no idea, that’s just the way I was made.
It keeps me from doing two things both of which I have no problem not doing. My life is not any less because of them…..
1. Amusement park rides…..I love low spiny rides.
2. Standing on glass over high places…like the Grand Canyon or some high buildings have this! This also includes glass elevators.

Outside of those things, my life isn’t hinged on it. I’m not afraid of airplanes, tall buildings . I’m completely comfortable in this!

My second fear is driving/ riding in the car in the snow. The reason why…I hate the feeling of sliding…more or less I think it is the feeling of being out of control….

This fear doesn’t keep me from doing anything…it’s just feeling sick in those situations

I also hate ants, but that is from a fire ant experience!

The Things That Make Me Happy….The Big and the Little

Oh so many things make me happy!
God’s word
Anything frog related
Beautiful art.
A hug
GOOD surprises.
My kids smiles
Completing goals
Giving gifts
Helping others
A house full of laughing people
Cooking
A clean house
Chocolate
A good cup of tea
Encouraging nets
Being creative
Sunshine
Rooms with gorgeous views
Sunrises
Sunsets
Days off
Silence
The sounds of playing kids
Music
People singing praises to God
Warmth.
Spring
Summer
Fall.
Florida in the winter
Reading
Writing
Zoos
Animals
Classic TV shows
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Mary Poppins
The Secret Garden
The color Green
Plaid
Coffee
Oreos
Pizza
Fond memories
Libraries

This list could go on and on and on. The thing is, when you have Christ even the smallest of things bring joy to you. Even in the midst of hard moments you can find joy…aka happiness! So what brings you joy?

When I’m Sad……

I like to get alone. I don’t like other people seeing me sad.
It depends on whyI sad though. There are any number of reasons why a person can be sad.
1. A loss- pet, family, or friend. My choice is to be wrapped into my hubby’s arms. 

2. Failure- write. Write and write. A lot of times I write to get perspective….almost always I end up back to the promises of God’s love.
3. Hurtful things said…..this is tough. I usually throw myself into whatever needs to be done. Sewing, cleaning, reading.

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