Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hard days

It's been a hard season around here as of late. One that makes me want to run and hide instead of blog. Mostly this season has been one of learning to listen to God, to Honor and Love HIM rather than man.

It's such a deadly trap that so many of us get into, the listening, believing and living for man rather than God. We are all in some ways, people pleasers. And for myself, that has been a long and painful lesson that recurs. For as long as I can remember I have been in the business of pleasing others. So consumed sometimes with other people's opinion that it takes a tole on my health, my family, my entire life. It has changed the way I parent, am a wife, a christian and even how I have viewed myself. Some days, it has completely consumed me. Because I have let it.

There have been days I have questioned everything about the choices I've made, my priorities, what should be important to me, based on what someone has said to or about me! Ha! And who am I? Not anyone important I assure you, but often times the target of accusations, and judgements (aren't we all?).

Are those opinions important? Maybe. Are they valid? Perhaps. Should they completely alter my day, my life? Absolutely not. Are they Godly? Do they have spiritual implications? Nope!Do they hurt and scar.....yes.

That is when I almost physically have to let go others' ideas of how I should be. I have to look to God, and only God to answer the accusations and questions come. Sometimes this also means cutting out those who are critical, building walls of protection around my heart. Not out of hardness and anger but out of knowing that those who are critical in an ungodly way, mean you no good. Their intent is not to bring you closer in your relationship with God and help you grow. I have found I have to guard my heart very closely. Because the opinions of others are.....just that.

I know I am not alone in this. Are you being persecuted? Are you being criticized, judged, condemned for doing good? It could be by those closest to you, your spouse, family, friends or complete strangers. For having too many kids, or not enough, for staying in or trying to repair a broken marriage, for making choices that are best for your family or children that others don't approve of, for being a doormat, for not making enough money, or making too much, for not having a "good" career, for parenting, for your lack of housekeeping skills, for staying home or going to work, for being too skinny too fat too pretty or not pretty enough. The list goes on, and on. And when those who are in the wrong lash out, sometimes it's an innocent bystander that gets taken down. Are you that person?

Romans 12:12 "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." 

verse 14 " Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse."

I know, I know your human infallible mind is screaming that it's not fair....how? HOW do I bestow honor, wish someone well, invoke divine favor upon someone who has just cut me to my core? I don't know, but I do know that God's words says we should. That we will be blessed to be obedient to His word and do those things. Being faithful in prayer is a start. Even in the very midst of the problem, urgent prayers for strength not to retaliate in anger, not to (verse 17) "repay evil with evil".....(verse21) "Do not be overcome by evil, but over come evil with good."

Why!? Why should you continue to do good, to live to honor God in the middle of all of this! Because God is using this to draw you closer to Him. He is using this to Glorify Himself, though it may not be now that you see the results. 

Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose."

All things, yes even this, work towards His purpose. One we can't even begin to fathom when we are stuck in the much and mire. He truly IS greater than I, He knows infinitely so much more than I do, especially in this time at this particular moment. I have no choice but the either drown, taking my eyes and heart off of Him, or trust. Beyond what seems possible. Trust.

No matter what swirling is going on around you. It comes down to trusting the Lord. In the end that is all you can do.

Friday, August 19, 2011

NO rainbows

Have you ever felt like running down the street and just hiding somewhere, anywhere. Where no one can find you!? I get it FRED, I totally get it!

I just told Jonah to get a number, stand in line because there is too much going on and only one of me.

That is exactly how I've felt these last 2 weeks. Trying to manage 6 kids schedules is wearing on me and I'm not even in the full swing of school yet. I've got two precious trouble making babies that are interested in everything they shouldn't be. garbage cans, toilet paper, the dog's bowl.....a toddler who still needs to sit on her Momma's lap and be babied, a public school schedule to think about and plan around and 2 older kids who need a sane teacher!.

From where i'm standing, I can't see the rainbow yet,

With us moving to the house, we have seen people come and go, move from one room to the next, rearranging and then rearranging again. And we aren't really even moved in, no really, you should see the attic. Not to mention when you shuffle people, it creates chaos. So what was once organized and neat explodes, and then you find other things that have no "home" and just linger on shelves.

These last 2 weeks I've made a bigger effort to get the kids back into their routine and chores, and keep caught up with laundry and cleaning. And I'm exhausted. I .just.am. And although the laundry is actually kept up, the areas we clean become strewn with mess literally 5 minutes after we clean it. I think the people around me think I'm lying when I say, "No really I cleaned and straightened all day." My kids make me look as if i do nothing all day. 12 people and 1 house wife is entirely too much to keep things neat. It's not a good equation.Sometimes I think doing all this good for other people isn't doing any good for this person and my family.

When I scheduled out our day, I left myself an hour block of time for me, I dreamed of setting up my sewing machine, reading a book, you know those relaxing activities a busy Mom longs for. I didn't consider the time it would take to pick Bella up, or how that would alter my activities during the day, or how fair that would be to Bella to have to come here and have quiet time right away.....

From here I see no rainbows, only rain...

going from poopy diaper to poopy diaper, mess to mess to meal to meal. I'm just spent. And I'm sure I'll get into the groove of things, get used to the chaos and the new schedule. But right now, in this very moment.....just call me Fred, or George, Bob anything but Mom.

I know there has to be a rainbow in there somewhere.

The other day Gracia and I were watering the garden, I tried to point out a rainbow to her. You know the kind, water spraying, pretty rainbows. She kept running around me back and forth looking....looking for that rainbow. It wasn't until I bent down to her little petite height that I realized she needed to see from above, because from above you can see the rainbows. I lifted her up, her eyes grew big, that huge smile of hers pushing her freckles up.

She could see the rainbows, from below she could only see the storm and the pouring of water from the hose. Her sight was limited, but when she looked from above, she could clearly see....the rainbows.

They are there, I just can't see them from where I am standing.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Some days......

God whispers through out, some days the message comes loud and clear.

God isn't interested in the crumbs under the table, but the crumbs in my attitude.

He isn't proud of my ability to keep the laundry baskets empty, He cares about my empty efforts done without proper motivation.

God is not happy about a clean and tidy house, when I have a heart of chaos.

He is not concerned about the outside being kept together, when the inside is coming apart at the seams.

 Some days........I am busy with the things of this world, the things that frustrate me, and keep me from my real purpose. The crumbs, the laundry, the mess of kids......these things keep me from the eternal. It is so easy to put other things ahead on a list of priorities, when really......none of that matters.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sucked in

I'm not sure where time has taken me these last 4 months, but surely it has sucked me in and seemed to swallow me whole. Like living in a vacuum of sorts. How does one catch up on four months?

It's been about that long since I've had my own space, it feels like an eternity though. It's funny how being in a bigger space can feel smaller and less private, but that is what it is.

We saw the end of our second "official" homeschool year come to a close. I can say honestly it was way more successful than the first, hopefully I will say that every year! I watched a little boy blossom and grow, grasp concepts with lightening speed, and a little girl learn to read and add and do things she had been waiting to do....ever since she saw her brother do it.

Gracia finally turned 3 (though she thought she was three for months) and little Liora made it to 1. Apprehensive of her cake and all the show of a first birthday. Since then she has seemed to explode with personality and a sense of humor. I will never tire of watching a baby develop.

Summer started with a bang as we got a few things crossed off the "fun" list, planting a garden, going to the beach and pool, Awana camp, Jonah getting a permanent tooth knocked out. Oh wait, that wasn't on the list, but somehow it made it on there.Thankfully it's re-rooted after many trips to the dentist and wires and tons of blood and nervous parents. But we have survived.....and learned.

And all too soon this summer is coming to a close. The first of August brings school for Dave and heading into full time child care and homeschooling for me. With far too many items left on the list for things we never got to this summer. The next weeks bring planning and plotting and curriculum sorting, scheduling and organizing and all that goes into preparing for another year.

So this week we are trying to squeeze the last few fun things on the list.....so desperately we want to enjoy these days together, they are so fleeting, so quick. I wonder sometimes if I am really living, or if life is just going by. From task to task, never quite caught up on anything before the next thing comes undone, I find my self moving from one thing to the next. I wish I didn't get sucked in sometimes, that I could sit on the outside of the spinning vortex and just observe and absorb. I hope I learn to do this before it's too late......

Friday, April 8, 2011

Ellie~kins


video
For our Ellie~kins.....how time has flown my sweet 5 year old.

It was yesterday you were placed in my heart, in my arms. Time has been so cruel and fast ticking so wildly as I watch you grow into a little girl I am so proud to call my daughter.

I see your love for God grow each day, your understanding, your heart, your passion and intensity. You are a little artist and a little Momma, creating and loving along the way. You've taught me so much about myself in your short years here with us. You drive me to be closer to God, to be the Mom you deserve, to be a light of Jesus to you.

Life is an adventure to you, you walk no where and run everywhere. If you could have wings or fins you would. Your zest and excitement for everything you do is wonderful, you make life seem like one miracle after another.

You want to do it all right now, catch up and slow down, dance run and skip. And we just want to do it all right next to you.

Thank you for being a blessing to us.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Snip-its of Life

I know it's happened to most, infact it may even be a rite of passage for most 4 year old girls........



Today, my sweet little Ellie-kins cut her own hair, Bella took a wack at it, then Ellie cut Bella's hair and then they attacked poor innocent Gracia! 

To be completely honest I freaked out when I say Gracie missing a piggy tail. YES....an entire pigtail on one side. But when I walked in and saw this:::: I started laughing. I did. I couldn't help it. I was torn between being sooooooooo very upset, but I had to turn around and laugh (I think the girls thought  I was crying, they all started crying). Have you ever seen anything so funny and cute all at the same time? I haven't really. My sweet little pixie faced girl, with hair cut practically down to her scalp......total 80's crazy on the other side.  What do you do?
There were so many things running through my mind. Tell her she is beautiful. Tell her it's only hair. Tell her never to touch scissors ever ever again! Tell her it will grow back.......Tell her she's beautiful.

What do I really want Ellie to know? To know without a doubt? (obviously first that she is way too young for cosmetology school, they don't enroll 4 year olds). But I want her to know that beauty isn't her long golden hair. That her crazy actions and crazy hair do for a while, won't embarrass me (at least outwardly). That although some people might laugh at her (because she was afraid of this), it doesn't matter. Those people don't know her like we do, like Jesus does. She is loved and accepted not matter what her hair looks like. Not matter what she has done wrong. No matter how ugly the sin makes us sometimes. 

Yes, all this from a hair cut. Because this is us, in a nut shell. We are so off and jagged on wrong, and yet no matter what, we are loved and accepted by God. Of course there are consequences for the crazy things we do sometimes....

but we are loved. Cherished.

Hack jobs and all.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

In a matter of minutes

Our house is going from 8 people to 12, 4 kids to 6, 1 family to 2.......life is going to change!

My sister is coming home with her husband, Bella (Ellie's twin ;) and her beautiful little new babe. And the house will go from crazy to well, crazier!

I'm a little nervous of course, but mostly just excited! I've missed my sister and being around her husband and kids! I've missed seeing her each week and being a big part of each other's lives. So let the adventure being!

We are in for some big changes as we add Bella to our homeschool day and TJ to our love. I've already brainstormed how to do 4 kids workboxes (can't leave out Gracie right?)

This will hold the big kids stuff and Gracie still gets her work baskets! Gracie has also given up her desk for Bella (which you know, she barely uses anyway~but of course we've told her how kind that is!)

I just dug through the attic and found all sorts of baby things I thought would help.....swing, bouncy chair, play mat, bath tub, Moses basket.......I am excited to dig through Jonah's old baby clothes and see if we can dress TJ in some of those as well!

That being said, I suppose I should shower, or change or something......it's a special homecoming for us!

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