Category Archives: Me Time

3 Little Munchkins

I returned home late Monday night to be awakened with a reality I wasn’t ready for. My son woke up really early allowing for a cranky attitude for not getting as much sleep and also to pay my back from being gone for so long. I also had to bid my parents ado for coming and staying with Cooper and than taking off to begin their journey home. I proceeded to grocery shop and then have two little munchkins arrive at our house at 11:30. Yes, this all took place before 11:30 in the morning. Mind you, I got home and in bed at 11:30 the previous night. Our vacation ended abruptly bringing a reality check the following morning that once you leave your destination vacation, your vacation has officially vanished into thin air leaving you with nothing but a distant memory.

I have agreed to watch two additional little munchkins for a gal who needs some help for a few months. The blessing is I am watching them within our dwelling which is helpful for Cooper especially since we just returned home and all of a sudden have a houseful. These two little munchkins are 2 years and 4 years old leaving me with 2 two years old and a 4 year old. Two boys and one girl. It is very time consuming, not that I didn’t know this already having my own, but three kids is a lot. I am excited to have playmates for Cooper, but I didn’t realize how tiring it was until I decided that 8:30 last night I was ready for bed.

I’ve had a couple comments that this will help prepare more for having more children, but lets be honest, it’s entirely different watching someone else’s children than your own. I think every mom would agree to this comment as there is a different relationship built. Not good or bad, but different. Different boundaries are help with someone else’s kids rather than my own. I can discipline Cooper the way I see fit because he is my child. I don’t take the role as a caregiver. I still implement rules to keep the kids getting along and setting boundaries to help things flow more smoothly.

I think it’s a really good opportunity for all the kids to be around playmates and force them to learn it is okay to share toys. I’ve enjoyed the little girl as well, considering I do not get a lot of girl interaction and she is your typical girly girl. It’s fun to do crafts and hear princess stories while the boys thrash around and do what boys do; be destructive. :)

Needless to say, I am busy with three kids 3 days a week, Bible study and volunteering at my church along with working for Jamberry, holding the household together, cooking, cleaning, and keeping my stories coming for you all. I definitely am busy, no doubt about that! They are all good things but I am learning how to better manage the little time I have. How to cook lunch and dinner while kids are running around and also wanting to interact with them while picking up toys and trying to keep things clean.

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This is the end of my cleaning…wishing I would have snapped a photo of the beginning state!

Yesterday started off a bit challenging. Kids came over, Cooper had a very nasty diaper that needed immediate attention. Realizing it was beyond my diaper skills, I went to start the bath. Returning to get the little munchkin realizing there is a trail behind him from one end of the house to the other. He managed to rip his diaper open and all the gel within the diaper was spread like cotton all throughout the house. If any of you have had experience with the inside gel of a diaper, you know it is IMPOSSIBLE to clean up. No vacuum, broom or mop could take care of this mess. It was amazing to me how impossible this gel really is. It took me forever to try and get the entire mess cleaned up while Cooper kept losing his balance and would slip like a deer on ice trying to walk to me on the wet floor. The frustration arose in both of us as I couldn’t clean it up fast enough and he was so frustrated why he couldn’t walk across the floor as usual.

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Sweet baby so happy to have his Lil Coupe for the Coop oblivious to what had just taken place.

I have a new appreciation for diapers and the way the gel works to hold everything in there for hours, but I also have a huge hatred in my heart for the gel when it escapes the diaper leaving my wood floors an utter disaster.

Moment of Truth: Sometimes life is unmanageable and seems out of control! It happens, we all have those days that seem to begin imperfectly, yet they can get better. A new day comes, or the moment passes leaving those memories to be laughable. Kids bring about crazy experiences yet I wouldn’t’ change it for anything. I still love my munchkin even though he has no clue what I do to clean up after him while his day consists only of play and sleep. Oh the glorious innocence of little minds!

Enough is Enough

As a mom you know the little joys that take place all throughout the day, or perhaps you know the little annoyances that are testing your patience. I’ve longed to be a mom for as long as I could remember. I used to play with my water baby who seemed so real and would pretend she was my child. She my baby and I was going to take her anywhere and everywhere with me. Where I got this notion, I’m not too sure, but I do know it has been a longing since I can remember putting the white jammies with little red hearts on her saying I would care for her as long as I lived.

Becoming a parent for me, happened entirely different than I had dreamt of. I thought I would get married and fall helplessly in love, travel and be the happiest family on the face of this earth. I did fall in love and I do travel with my family, but it didn’t happen in the order I had scheduled on my agenda. I got pregnant after knowing my husband for a short 6 months to only test the boundaries of love and what that meant for the little child within my belly. We decided to take the plunge and get married two months prior to our little bundle of joy entering this world. We traveled within three months of him being born and still do. We’ve made it work, it hasn’t been easy but we’ve accomplished the unthinkable. It’s been a long journey, there are days you think it would be easier to run away and give up. There are moments of wondering who my spouse truly is amongst the crying and laughter filling the house. There are moments of curiosity: will my husband and I get along without the babe around? Will we learn the depths of one another’s soul even with a toddlers pitter-patter running rampant throughout the house. These are all questions that are posed in the midst of falling in love and creating love all at the same time. But when the end of the day hits, I am blessed and thankful!
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There are many challenges to starting life the way my husband and I did. But, there are many joys and blessings that we wouldn’t have, had we not go pregnant and married. The pure bliss of our family is a blessing no matter the hardship that has occurred. You have to be willing to accept the difficult times along with the good. Fighting for your marriage no matter the cost. Choosing to get to know your spouse on a deeper level whenever possible. Choosing to let your family be your life!
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These are all things I’ve chosen to accept knowing that it will not be easy. My husband and I have officially been married for two years now as of this month. We look back and thank one another for being there through all the challenges we’ve had. We’ve gone through A LOT within those two years battling cancer, death, my health, my sons hospitalizations, extended family drama and addictions as well as every day life. I firmly believe if we can make it through that, we can make it through anything. We’ve dealt with more than we bargained for and have chosen to accept it and keep learning and growing with one another. I love my husband beyond description. I know he was meant for me since the day we were born. There are so many positives amongst the challenges and often, we overlook the good.

Two people come from entirely different pasts, and that is a loaded guns as is. :) When you deal with extended family there are many things that encompass “family.” Good and bad. Relating to one another looks different than how my husband grew up. I grew up extremely conservative while he grew up in a family of immense wealth and prestige. He also grew up with very little love and acceptance and dealing with things a young child should never have to deal with. Bringing his family and past into our marriage was a handful for me just as much as the love and extreme communication in my family was a challenge for him. Our idea of a family looked different. We have had to learn to adapt and grow with what we’ve learned throughout life and mesh together our new “normal.”

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With all of that to say, sometimes I get caught up in the mundane of life and say “enough is enough!” Forgetting how far we have come, home many more years of love and growth we have with one another, more traveling, more living and more being! Enough is enough when I have lost every ounce of patience with a crying child throwing temper tantrums and becoming severely dehydrated and being hospitalized all in the same week of losing my mother-in-law. Feeling I have to hold everything together, I do my best to not fall apart. I  reached the end of myself last week three days before we left town for vacation. Realizing that I wouldn’t have the love of my husband and son had we not taken the road we are on. With all the hardship and patience being worn, that’s all because I am married and have a little munchkin to share my life with. The little moments outweigh the challenging moments. Life keeps ticking away and the hours keep fading, but what still remains is my family of three. I’m thankful I do not have to embark on this life alone. I’m thankful I have a husband who comes home every night, I’m thankful I have a family to share dinner with and cook for. I’m thankful for the laughter that fills my home while my husband and son play. I’m thankful to travel with my husband alone and get to know him even more than I already do. I am thankful and blessed for the little things. Enough IS enough! I have enough and am blessed to have enough! I have the little giggles, I have the little hugs and struggle to enunciate the beginnings of his vocabulary. The incredible knowledge this little man holds is enough for my soul. I have enough with my husband. The moments together of laughter and holding one another, the planning of our future. The talk of more children. Cooking romantic meals for one another and simply being together is enough!

Sometimes mommy cannot be and do everything for the family. We tend to take on this role and try to fulfill the families desires, simply forgetting that we are an individual as well. We take on the roles of wife, mommy, housekeeper, taxi driver, chef, accountant and much more forgetting I am still Me without all the titles. Embrace the titles you hold! Without your family you wouldn’t have these titles. Sometimes they become draining but they are more exciting than having no titles and being needed by those you love. We are needed as a wife and mommy and through the constant questions and nagging, you are needed and have enough! At the end of the day, my frustrations and lack of patience is and will continue to diminish as I embrace the positive in having enough.

Here is an article that I saw this morning and thought it was beyond a good reminder on why we wear all the hats of being a wife and mom. It’s the little things that last; chores and cleaning will always remain but our little munchkins grow up!

Enough is Enough-Read this article to remind you of why you choose to be a mom and a wife!

Moment of Truth: Embrace the day for the simple fact that you are needed to help supply the needs of your family. You are needed to create the relationships and security between your family and you are the biggest blessing to your family. Embrace the little kisses, hugs and words that are uttered from your rug rats and embrace the welcome home kiss from your husband after his long day at work. Embrace the family dinners and family walks together. Embrace life; enough is enough!

Forgiveness

Just when I think I’ve lost every drop of grace I have inside me and want to give up and move on, a song comes on in the background: 7×70 times by Chris August. If you haven’t heard it, then you must listen to it.

7×70

Although my night and many of them did not go as planned, I feel like this was the straw that broke the camels back. Not quite sure how to handle the situation I’ve just encountered but knowing it’s anything but good. I decided to ignore it in hopes that I wont have to deal with it anymore this evening. While in the kitchen making my husbands lunch this song came on and in mid thought interrupted me. “What am I supposed to do? The situation isn’t good, but that doesn’t mean I can’t forgive but it also doesn’t mean I keep continuing to be trampled on. So how Lord do I stop and forgive and where do I go from here?” The questions filled my mind while trying to concentrate on lunch making. “Forgive? How Lord?” I am trying to rationalize my thoughts, “How do you not forgive, I’ve forgiven you and all my children even when they continue down destructive paths, you must forgive and I will show you how.” This is what I hear as I am filling up with anger now that I’ve allowed myself to actually think through some of the facts. Okay, if the Lord is asking me to forgive than I must exercise this and allow the Lord to help me forgive. My anger must subside!

Thanks to uppercasewoman.com

Thanks to uppercasewoman.com

I’ve had the conversation many times with my husband that when you dwell on the negative it breeds a negative attitude and now is my opportunity to take my own advice. My routine when I become angry and feel justified is to pray for wisdom. Ask the Lord for the next hour to speak through my words or actions. Then I ask for grace; giving me grace to see the positive through the negative circumstances. Friends, this works! I am living proof of it. My perspective has change 180 degrees only by taking these small steps and my response has had a greater impact. Do not be fooled, it is not easy what-so-ever but it takes discipline and exercising faith to want to change bad habits. If you desire something enough, you will strive for that success.

Now forgiving doesn’t always mean staying in the same circumstances. The line needs to be drawn depending on each individual situation. I wasn’t asking to encounter this situation nor will I ever again. Forgiving can still occur even when tolerance doesn’t. My tolerance level is 100% depleted. When this song came on 7×70 times, I was struck by the simple fact that it doesn’t matter the circumstances, you simply forgive. We begin basing our forgiveness on selfish gain, how many times have you been wronged, how many times have you deserved better than that, how many times? How many times? How many times? These are selfish questions that bring about a negative, deserving attitude; the proper question needs to come from the Lord; “help me Lord to forgive with your grace and without expectations?”

By changing our thoughts and perspective we can begin to take those small steps to genuine love and forgiveness EVEN when others don’t deserve it.

I think it’s so important to address this issue as forgiveness is a daily battle and sometimes an hourly battle. Those of you with kids, spouses, and rocky family relationships or friendships all understand that this becomes a choice. If you don’t choose forgiveness your anger and resentment will turn your heart to stone. Strive to become the person people enjoy being around rather then wishing you away because you are emotionally draining!

Forgiveness

Moment of Truth: Sometimes we walk paths that are unexpected and continue to throw road blocks at us. We have the choice to continue to walk or stop and allow these road blocks to hinder any further growth. Don’t settle for ordinary. Choose extraordinary and seek forgiveness no matter the cost! Choose abundant life no matter if you choose it alone! God is here to help, BUT you must ask and wait.

The Merry-Go-Round of Life

The Merry-Go-Round of life. Shouldn’t this ride be slow and relaxing? Are we riding faster and faster begging for life to slow down a little? Is our patience being tested? Is our integrity failing? Is our lack of trust letting others down? Is our dishonesty destroying relationships?

This merry-go-round of life is never ending and we haven’t quite figure that out yet. It seems that every new twist and turn in the road we are looking for an escape rather than accepting the very day we have been given.

As I had previously mentioned about my patience fleeing my soul as if I became a ravenous dog out to destroy anything and everything in my site, I stumbled across this and found it to be entirely fitting…..WAIT!!! It was not fitting at all, it was convicting to the innermost part of my being. Reminding me why I exercise patience and why I am not running my own life.

I have a devotional that is beyond quick and helps convict you for the entire day with your 3 minutes of reading. :)

This is by Sarah Young, April 16:

I am calling you to a life of thankfulness. I want all your moments to be punctuated with thanksgiving. The basis for your gratitude is My sovereignty. I am the Creator and Controller of the universe. Heaven and earth are filled with My glorious Presence.

When you criticize or complain, you are acting as if you think you could run the world better than I do. From your limited human perspective, it may look as if I’m mismanaging things. But you don’t know what I know or see what I see. If I pulled back the curtain to allow you to view heavenly realms, you would understand much more. However, I have designed you tolive by faith, not by sight. I lovingly shield you from knowing the future of seeing into the spirit world. Acknowledge My sovereignty by giving thanks in all circumstances.

Boy was this a mind, body and soul experience to remember to give thanks in all circumstances and that I often act as though I could run the world better than the God that created me! Who am I to think such things and exercise a power that I clearly do not have?

This helped put me back in place remembering I need not say the things I want to say from my flesh. But give thanks when my son is testing my patience for the very reason that I have a son to test my patience. Being thankful in the little things help bring clarity when bigger things arise.

I am thankful for the very fact that I cannot see the future as I would probably be more scared than excited. I would base my every move off what the future would bring rather than living in the moment and allowing my faith to grow and my focus to remain on the Lord. This is the merry-go-round of life. It continually happens and constantly tests my limits.

Thanks to fineartamerica.com

Thanks to fineartamerica.com

Moment of Truth: I learned through a simple reminder that I am powerless but have a God who is all Powerful! My faith is not in the patience I lack throughout the day, but in God who has given me a desire to exercise patience for the sake of Him to bless my family.

Read more about my Lack-of-Patience

The Million Dollar Question

This morning I had a conversation with my husband before work about his job and his happiness. This has become a very frequent conversation as of lately. The million dollar question still remains unanswered; “what will make me happy?” It’s not about the money for him, it’s not about anything but enjoying what he is doing and being successful at it. Does that mean you stay in the same career but in a different position or simply change fields all together? The many questions remain. How to narrow down the answers for the unknown is almost impossible.

As a wife, my biggest problem is wanting to solve this issue knowing I can’t create the perfect job for him that he would love to attend everyday. The struggle of helping him, supporting him, and making a plan with him is extremely challenging for me as I can not create his happiness. I know he turns to me because he wants me to help solve this situation as well and I can’t. It’s a tough position to be in and I wish I could answer that million dollar question.

The million dollar question

From an outside perspective, even though I’m not truly on the outside, I can see that some things take more time than we would like. I know answers will come, I know he will gain an interest in what he really wants to do and I know ultimately, he will begin to see more clearly. He’s had a whirlwind of events take place the last couple years but as of frequent, the last three months. The problem isn’t only his job, it’s life. He has battled relationships and abandonment with his mother while reconnecting with her only to lose her a second time and this time for good. He got married and had a baby within months and since then, life has only sped up. There has been no roadmap along the way.

We find ourselves here two years later only to say “wow!” These past two years have encompassed more than we bargained for yet we still can’t believe it’s only been two years all at the same time. Learning how to be married, be parents, and live life while finding our identity is anything but easy. I think most often people tend to dismiss the tough questions in life and tell you to ‘suck it up’ because they do not know themselves how to get there. I know we all struggle with our identity and accomplishment on some level or another, but how often do we push towards the end goal or simply take life in stride not wanting to accept any curveballs thrown.

The problem I see, is more people need to be vulnerable and accept life’s challenges, be there for others going through a similar situation and/or simply listen. My husband and I have traveled these past two years almost solo. We’ve had great people come in and out of our life advising and supporting, but when it comes down to it, we’ve been the two people at the end of the line saying, “I’m still here.” Tough circumstances can be intimidating for others and often be too much for them; almost an inconvenience and wanting to get back to the normal swing of things. This statement in and of itself is where I see my husband and I starting some sort of organization for people who need that constant support and people to journey with them all throughout. But, since we haven’t arrived at our destination yet, we will hold to that hope and know what it is that we wanted/needed while we went through it ourselves.

I don’t want to say that people haven’t volunteered their time now and again, but when you are in the fire of life hoping to come out refined, you need a constant relationship to help advise along the way. I can say we’ve had one couple who have supported us ruthlessly even when we haven’t wanted their help. I’m grateful for them and blessed to have their love and devotion to our family. This is what I am talking about. How come we want to run from problems of life? How come it’s easier to give up when you get tired, and how come we can’t remain constant for those in need?

I’m guilty of these questions as well. I long to offer my life to those around me; advise and support in all facets of life. When life gets messy, you tend to know who is there for you no matter the circumstances. It’s a true test of friendship and love. I think we all need to be reminded that God never said life was going to be easy and that we need not judge those around us. He hung out in the slums, treated those who are lesser than us with highest acceptance. Why do we want life to be so perfect and without inconveniences? Your life will be anything but that, as long as you keep running from it.

We all have our own junk in life that needs to be dealt with. We need honest relationships, real relationships and an extraordinary life. You’ve all heard me say many times to live a life extraordinary and not simply ordinary. Do you honestly believe you can achieve the extraordinary life without coming along people, sharing your struggles as well and not pretending? Relationships are difficult. Friends, relationships are DIFFICULT. They will only blossom when you put in what you want to get out.

Thanks to: www.suitqaisdiaries.com

Thanks to: www.suitqaisdiaries.com

So, with all of that, the million dollar question still remains in tangible form. What will bring me pure happiness. I can express the deep love and joy Christ has to offer each and every one of us but I think we need to step back and simply look at the relationships we hold with people and how we treat one another. The deeper issue will remain; we all need Christ, but on the surface we can’t have that deep relationship with Christ if we aren’t willing to get dirty and join our friends in the slums.

I can’t provide the answers I long to provide for my husband and our family, but I can help support and pray that God opens many doors and opens them soon. I also pray that our eyes would be open to the hardship knowing we are here for a reason. What we need to learn right now in this season is something I do not want to miss out on. I want that extraordinary life for my family and if that means we are in the fire to come out beyond refined, than by all means, let’s do it. I do not want the busy life that passes by without meaning and worth!

Moment of Truth: What friends do you enjoy being with when life is good? Do you hear the selfishness in that question? We all must give to those without expectation of what you can earn out of it. Life is difficult and will continue to be difficult. Do not dwell on the hardship but take the hardship and bring beauty from it. Help those around you without feeling inconvenienced. Be the love of Christ, not the love of our own flesh!

Waving Goodbye To My Patience

After the catastrophe of being in the hospital with my son and the traumatic events of losing my mother-in-law, I’ve been worn to the bone. I feel lifeless and worthless. My body is craving for sleep and sanity to resume. 5 days of forcing fluids with a syringe has been extremely exhausting and beyond description. It doesn’t sound like a lot but it is and you will not understand this process until every hour of your day is surrounded by fluid flushing to avoid a return to the hospital.

I’ve officially reached the end of my sanity. My cap has blown, I’m resembling Mt Saint Helens. Volcanic ash and steam burst from the top of the mountain traveling a large distance. The ash is spreading upon everything along it’s way leaving behind the aftermath of a poor, despicable attitude. This is me; my patience has been worn down to the point that I have lost my patience with anything and everything in sight.

Thanks to: blog.thezeitgeistmovement.com

Thanks to: blog.thezeitgeistmovement.com

Typically, I find myself to be pretty patient, accepting and a go-with-the-flow kind of girl. I will truthfully admit this wasn’t who I used to be but I’ve adapted over time. I do not remember the last time I’ve lost my patience so bad that literally anything my husband or son do, I want to rip their heads off. (Not literally, but you get the picture) The frustration of my son and the comments that accompany my husband has left me with a sour taste in my mouth. So sour that all I want to do is dispute every noise the it uttered from their mouth.

The moment I react, I immediately regret my response and the anger that has consumed my body. Embracing my son in a tight hug and a kiss for his innocent little soul, I quickly embrace him full of remorse. Unfortunately, my husband can process what I am saying and takes the outlandish comments on a more personal level while once again leaving me full of remorse and wanting to snuggle with him on the couch while we watch mindless TV; yet I still can’t bring myself to stop. I have spent the last countless days trying to hold things together, keep the family together and be the strong anchor for everything that has taken place. I’ve realized being strong can only last so long, it’s not about how strong I can be, it’s about being the support they need while knowing being strong doesn’t always come in the form of perfection. I’ve also realized that being a mommy and wife is a job that can be very taxing. Everyone needs something from me and it is always at the same time and sometimes mommy and wifey can’t do it all. Sometimes mommy and wifey just wants to be me without the titles of solving everything.

This is all coming from the depths of my selfishness longing to escape when life keeps happening around me. I would never take away being a mommy or a wife as I LOVE the responsibility that comes with is, but for the first time, I’ve actually wanted an escape. What would my escape look like? I’m not too sure, because going on vacation would involve my family. Anything I truly enjoy, I enjoy doing with my family. So, this twisted perspective that I need a break isn’t actually accurate.

I went to the salon yesterday for a good three hours so give my son a break from me losing my patience second by second. By the end of the evening, I was at it again feeling guilty as a laid his little head to sleep after “yelling” all day. My husband received a good three hours of drama since he walked through the door after work. As we went to bed, I apologized ruthlessly knowing I am an idiot now and again. My family is what is important, I need them to make it through the day. They are my love and life and I do not wish it away. I love the laughter that takes place and the two boys running rampantly throughout the house banging toys and screaming for joy. My husband and son put a smile on my face even when I get to the point of being utterly impatient, they are what makes my family a family.

Thanks to www.aniotaoftruth.com-

Thanks to www.aniotaoftruth.com-

Realizing today is a new day and I can choose to respond from love and not from the brink of insanity is encouraging as life keeps up with the pace; never slowing down. Today I choose love, patience and enjoyment. I choose enjoyment not wanting to look back wishing I would have spent more time with the things that are important. Delighting in my family no matter the circumstances. They are there when life is happy, easy, hard and sad. They are what makes life go around!

Moment of Truth: We’ve all been there, having no patience to offer and a attitude of self-seeking. But when we look in the mirror at the end of the day what good came from it? Nothing! So, choose to delight in todays circumstances no matter what they bring. If you are in the hospital, forcing fluids, losing a parents, hating a job…..choose joy!

Happiness

I keep hearing the phrase “I just want to be happy!” I’ve heard it and heard it and clearly have no words of wisdom to offer back. I can’t provide anyone’s happiness, I can’t make you happy let alone make myself happy. This phrase has hit me in a very peculiar way today…

I stand in the kitchen washing dishes and thinking aloud while praying in between my thoughts that are racing around wildly. I come to this realization that you can’t strive for happiness if you aren’t choosing to live in the happiness of today. You can hope and wish that the future will provide you happiness and your life will be full of happiness but in all reality, are you choosing to be happy in the present? These were my thoughts as I unloaded the dishwasher realizing most the dishes had not come clean. What does this mean for the person who simply wants to be happy? What does this look like while your mother-in-law is dying of cancer? What does this look like in the chaos of the day chasing tiny tots around? What does this look like in an unhappy marriage? What does this look like when finances simply aren’t there? Many of us relate to one of these issues, if not more.

I don’t have all the answers, I don’t have most the answers and in fact, lets be completely honest, I have NO answers. All I know is that I can’t wish happiness upon my future if I can’t accept the happiness of the day. Everyday, no matter how bad it is, has something to rejoice about. I can tell you this honestly as the last three years has been brutal. My husband and I have been in the fire in ALL aspects of life; marriage, job, kids, health, family, finances, friendships, house problems, faith and personal growth. Life is NOT easy and was never promised to be easy, yet we constantly pry for happiness without being thankful for the moment.

Although these past three years have been extremely difficult I still have a lot to be thankful for. My family is healthy, my marriage is still together, my son is an amazing boy, we have a job, we have finances, we have a house, we have one another, we have cars to drive and food to eat. These are only a few things but life can’t proceed without the basics; family and friends. If you have the basics, begin there.

One day, maybe our eyes will be opened to the pain Christ has spared us from. Yup, even in hardship I know God has spared us from even greater pain that the enemy longs to place upon me and my family. My husband said it today “we hit the edge of the cliff thinking there’s no where else to turn, you must jump. Just as you recognize that there is nothing left, God releases a little bit of hope. Enough to get you through the next minute, hour, and day. Just when life seems completely hopeless, God gives that small ray of hope.”

Thanks to theminimalist.com

Thanks to theminimalist.com

Unfortunately, sin and evil are apart of this world which in turn brings about heartache and pain. Watching my mother-in-law battle for her life against the raging war of cancer has been extremely difficult. Her life is hanging on by a thread and yet she still smiles, she still jokes, and she still has positive talk flow from her lips. I don’t know how she does it! I do know God is faithful and for those watching her battle and fight everyday, I know God is working in our lives as well. What this looks like is incredibly unknown, but there are glimpses of hope, there are moments of happiness and there are moments of peace. So how then, do we obtain happiness when life is falling apart around us?

Dear friends, God is working and he is working in the lives of each of us on so many different levels. For example, I watch my broken husband hang on to the current relationship he has with his mother while years past seem wasted. Battling his mind of hurt and anger from heartache in his childhood that haunts him today while he faces his mom sick in bed. The compassion he feels for her is incredible, the sadness overflows his soul, yet years of pain still reside deep within. “I just want to be happy!” the phrase comes up again. How do people be happy with a life that is so hard and painful? Friends, Christ didn’t promise us happiness, he promised us hope and future! What more than can we ask for? We have our hope and happiness at our fingertips yet we hang extremely loosely as the questions flood our mind; fear and doubt set in. We don’t need all the answers we need to grasp tightly to the hope  we have and live our lives full of the promises God has already given. These past three years have been beyond what I could ever imagine yet I still find myself learning that Christ is who He says he is. I have nothing to fear! Although I know this concept, I battle it everyday.

So, my dear friends, if you want the magic key to happiness my answer to you all is simply to live in the happiness of what you have been given today no matter the circumstances. Do NOT dwell on the pain, the heartache or the past! Live today with the glass half full rather than craving a future full of happiness, it’s here and ready for you today, not later. I tell you this from experience while I still learn each day to cling to the moments I am given. It’s not easy but it is possible.

Moment of Truth: Live in the now, rejoice in what you have!

Babysitter Trials

I absolutely love our current babysitter but I haven’t quite figured out how the wage works. Growing up when I babysat, I never knew what my wage was until the end of the night. When the end of the night approached I was given the money for caring for their sleeping child and watching movies on their couch. My mom always taught me to clean up after myself. Even if there were dishes in the sink that had been there prior to my arrival, I needed to clean them or put them in the dishwasher. The expectation was I was “working” for this family, so what they gave me is what I deserved and I needed to be thankful.

Now, having my child I’ve come to see that babysitters have learned to set a competitive wage while us as parents seek for the proper fit. Babysitters these days aren’t “applying” for a job but simply waiting for you to accept their wage. This caught me off guard immensely for a couple reasons. First, aren’t we teaching our children to work and appreciate what they are given? Second, why are our young kids setting the boundaries for the parents?

I haven’t been able to answer these two questions as every babysitter out there is currently setting the wage for our family. My husband and I haven’t figured out how they ‘nickel and dime’ us but it has worked. I have found date night to be extremely expensive even when it only consists of golfing. I’ve also found many people who really want to babysit for us as my son is extremely easy going and sleeps a lot leaving our couch to be kept warm while the television flickers a movie or TV show.

The battle within me is the one aspect that my husband continues to remind me “you get what you pay for!” But there is still part of me that disagrees a little bit when you have a young highschool girl watching TV or on the internet while your son sleeps. My mind can’t quite grasp the concept that I can easily pay over $100 for our date plus babysitter. When I look at my bills at the end of the month and having a babysitter 4 times a month, it begins to look outrageous to me.

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Look Mommy, I’m still small enough to crawl in….

The trials of babysitting has been an ongoing issue since my son has been born and it seems we can’t find a babysitter as back in the ‘old’ days; pay what they are worth at the end of the night. I don’t have a problem paying what these girls ask, my problem is that I don’t simply get the choice in deciding what this as they set the wage prior; not me.

Moment of Truth: The trials of not having family around to simply drop Cooper off when needed is a big struggle for me.  The struggles of having babysitters that pay an arm and a leg is also a struggle of mine. The end result: I’m thankful I have a little munchkin that is worth paying any amount of money for no matter how his mama feels about the circumstances. :) I must flow with the change in times! Is it worth the battle of a few bucks an hour to have my child in safe hands?

I would love to hear your response…

 

 

Life is Short

8 weeks ago I met my mother-in-law for the first time. My husband has had no contact with her for roughly 27 years and little did we know that she lived less than a mile away from his previous work location. Through the no communication there has been a lot of emotion and pain that has had to be addressed for my husband. As the years have past he hasn’t actually had to fully deal with it…until now. Back in January my husband received an email from her stating that she has been very ill and doctors informed her she has only 6-9 months left to live. This shocking news struck my husband to the core. He was speechless, lifeless and full of emotion. Immediately responding to her email we headed out to visit her that following weekend.

She had been diagnosed with Esophageal cancer that had been so aggressive it has taken over her entire body. Through this tragedy, we have been getting together with her and her husband for the past 8 weeks allowing Cooper to put smiles on the everyone’s face in the midst of the heartache.

This past Sunday we were headed out for our weekly visit but as we hadn’t heard back from her in a week, we decided something must be wrong. We emailed, called and emailed over and over hoping to let down the anxiety of “what ifs” we held in the pits of our tummies. My parent’s came down specifically to meet her and be a support to my husband in the midst of this heartache. As we pulled up to the house our conversations fizzled instantaneously as we all process an ambulance sitting in the driveway. Immediate fear plagued my husband and I as we slowly approached the doorway where a stretcher sat. We quietly walk in hoping for the scenario to be better than our fear.

Life is short1

There stood 3 gentleman speaking to Marlin, Cathy’s husband while he looked white as a ghost trying to hold his bearings together. Cathy sat in her chair beyond exhausted, breathless and full of pain. That morning she had collapsed to the ground hoping it was from the medication but would not know anything further until she was under surveillance at the hospital. She spoke with us but definitely was so tired and struggling to get many words out. We hugged and kissed her goodbye as they drove off to the hospital.

Little Cooper terrorizing the backseat of our car while my parents tried to entertain him finally came to an end. My parents brought him in and met Marlin. He explained the condition and how the previous week had panned out. We hoped for the best knowing that the ultimate result still remained the same which none of us wanted to address.

24 hours passes and we receive a phone call from Marlin last night giving us our official update. We find out she is progressively getting worse and what happened earlier this week was due to her cancer taking over. My husbands face turned white while the fear plagued his body unsure what words to form next. How do you continue a conversation that has an end result of utter sadness and loss? Both a son and a husband exchanging words about a woman they are about to lose. Watching this play out while I prepared dinner and distracted Cooper was very difficult but knowing I need to be the strong one for the night, I did my best to accomplish this task.

The reality of life is a sad reality. We all come into this world as a helpless babe, while at the end of our life for the most part, brings us full circle back to that same position; a helpless babe! How does one process this reality? Where is the hope for those left behind? The many questions and utter sadness fills the room longing for it to simply be “okay.” Knowing at some point it will be okay, it is still a new normal that will be forced to take place.

My prayer is for those who are left behind is to see the Lord working “all things together for good.” Knowing her fate and feeling confident that the Lord has rescued her and she has a hope to look forward to; perfection with Jesus! The condition of our souls needs to be re-evaluated as we face the reality of death and although most of us want to pretend it doesn’t exist until absolutely necessary, it is a topic that makes people squirm but it’s a good thing to think through asking yourself if this was your last day, do you know where you are going?

Moment of Truth: Life is a challenge in and of itself. Do you live in fear or walk in confidence knowing your life could end at any moment and where your fate lies? Hold tightly to the truth of why we are alive and here on this earth, one purpose; glorify God.

When Addictions Enter In

When addictions enter in, it will rule someone’s entire life; marriage, work, friendship, motivation, personal growth, children and ultimately self. This reality will ruin a person and/or those around them. An addiction can come in any sense of the word: drugs, alcohol, money, pride, food, sex and gambling just to name a few. Manipulation usually goes hand in hand with an addiction as most addicts can’t accept responsibility for themselves. I must preface this with the reality that I am not a psychologist but do see things as I have experienced life and have taken many classes in psychology as my degree is in counseling. I am not a professional but I have seen many people struggle through deep depression and insecurity while they try to mask their pain with what we call “habits.”

Thanks to eglo.info

Thanks to eglo.info

I have struggled myself with anxiety and fear of failure. When I was younger I always wanted to be accepted no matter the cost. I thought being “cool” was the way of life. I think every child to some degree or another longs to be accepted, it’s how they ‘earn’ their acceptance that is challenging. I’ve heard the prevalence of drugs and alcohol being the way of high school acceptance these days. The main struggle I see is how the parents relationship with one another directly impacts our children on many levels but especially self-confidence. What they see and how they feel at home is what they will strive for with their friends. Now, there is the exception that children also have an immense amount of peer pressure as well that they succumb to on their own, it isn’t always due to parenting. There is a distinction that needs to be clarified. Kids need to learn what life is truly about and need parents to be solid in their foundation to guide appropriately the road of life for their children. Our relationship as parents and husband and wife are the foundation for our children. What they see is what they will learn. Not what they hear. We all know actions speak louder than words.

I am very passionate about our children and the environment they are raised in. I have seen terrible childhoods as well as excellent childhoods. A child’s early years will form their beliefs about life later in adulthood. We all say at some point or another “I will never do that when I am older as that is what my parents said or did.” But unfortunately the reality is we will become what we despise from our childhood unless we strive to change those predispositions. What we see is who we become unless we choose to actively dispute those attitudes or ideas. The Bible even talks about generational sin, we will continue our generational sin or ‘habits’ if we don’t daily strive against it. What do you want your children to say of you when they are older? What good traits are you hoping to pass down and what traits are you praying they never take on? Pursue what is pure.

Addictions affect our families more than anyone or anything else. Our families are the people we spend the most time with and they see the depths of our true colors. Unfortunately some addictions are subtle and become manipulation rather than the deeper issue; the addiction itself. The reason I believe manipulation goes hand in hand with addictions is because people who are addicted to something are in self-denial. When you are in self-denial you tend to blame everyone else for the deep battles within yourself. Addictions or no addictions we all want to blame other people for their actions instead of accept responsibility that our actions affect our family and friends.

Thanks to drmichaelroth.wordpress.com

Thanks to drmichaelroth.wordpress.com

What keeps racing through my mind through all of the heartache in the world is ‘not to waste my life.’ What does this look like when heartache is staring you down, filling your soul and attempting to triumph over your life? How do we strive to live a happy life learning from our regrets? Letting history remain as history and allowing the present and future to be created with self-confidence, battling the demons inside of us and not ignoring them. Lets allow friends and family to be our accountability rather than them become our defense.

Throw out past regrets, anger and resentment and ask the Lord to bring about healing so you may live a life that’s fulfilling to Christ. “Seek and you will find.”

Sometimes my husband tells me I’m really hard on him and without actually saying it I am saying “suck it up.” He is right, sometimes I get so caught up with the “junk” when in reality I’d rather not dwell in it but suck it up myself, deal with it and move on. Life is exhausting in and of itself trying to maintain relationships as well as working through our own junk. But through the last couple years I’ve physically seen the grace of God through many circumstances in my life that I’ve been learning life isn’t worth dwelling on the problems. I want to live a life that is extraordinary and not simply ordinary. I have learned how to better manage dealing with the “wheelbarrow” of junk we carry around as my life has seemed to become wasted when I let past experiences rule my life rather than basking in the joy God has blessed us with and push forward instead of looking back.

Moment of Truth: I heard it recently said that in the middle of the battle while you continue to press forward to fight the battle, you have your shield every step of the way protecting you. The moment you turn around in hesitation, your protection has now disappeared, defeating the purpose of your shield. The same goes for God. God is there protecting us as we walk through the battlefield but the moment we choose to fight our own way, our shield is lost.