Monday, August 11, 2014

Meltdowns and Mama's Day Out

Quite possibly the worst days I have lived through happened this past Tuesday and Wednesday. My mental state, or lack thereof, was so torn down that now, looking back, I honestly don't remember some of last week! 

Sure, I have all the head knowledge needed to push through a rough patch or find things to be thankful for. But when it comes down to the nitty gritty, emotions that are borderline depressing and a state of mental isolation are a terrible combination. So head knowledge is sometimes useless in crisis. Why? Because the head isn't working correctly! I was unbalanced and my mind was a wreck. There was no thinking straight! I had to find that place in my heart that was ready to surrender. And this came through tears. 

WJ witnessed my meltdown.  It came late Wednesday night. Now, WJ is my husband. He is strength and calm and all things moderate. However,  I tend to put him in a savior category.  To think this is unfulfilling for me and unfair to him.  I realized these last few days that he is not the one who can totally free me and make it all better. Sure he is amazing and can totally comfort my crazy, but he is not my all in all.  He's my partner. And I am forever grateful for this. But I had to get away by myself a few hours yesterday and figure a few things out. 

I had to begin this healing process from within. Well first I had to exhale and begin normal breathing again. I asked the Holy Spirit to help me find balance in Christ.  I beckoned for Him to balance my mind and steady my heart. This is going to take a while. Day by day. Balance is priceless. It is the life blood of a functional household and a crazy mama!   

So after a beautiful day out, I found myself with the ability to think about the positive aspects of our lives; to look back and see where we have been with more clarity and appreciation. I was no longer allowing bitterness the opportunity to take root, like it had tried to do so many times the last few months. Correction, years.  The raw reality of a negative mindset is not having a hopeful focus. 

After my time alone and later with a few key people who could speak life into my bones, WJ and I spent most of the weekend together. No work, no other obligations but to be with each other and the children. We have had some of the most valuable, thought provoking conversations. We were able to focus on the path we want to see our family fulfill. We were able to realign our current goals. And we were able to discuss possibility. That is a powerful word. POSSIBILITY. 

This is Goose standing on the land we are about to purchase. We close the end of the month. POSSIBILITY!!

I knew last week I could not continue without a break to refresh and re focus. I am so grateful for other family and friends who stepped in and gave me this opportunity to run away and regroup! They will never know how crucial it was to break free a bit. 

I am also very relieved that Christ delights in me, weakness and all. And he has given me a wonderful man who's love is unconditional and provision  immeasurable. He is a reflection of Gods mercy and grace in my life. 

From out of the ashes a beautiful thing was once again planted within my spirit. Hope. My tears began this healing process... the possibility of living these last few weeks of transition in a more calm state of mind. It's never easy with "littles" but BALANCE is key. ( More on that at a later time. )

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Crazy is O.K.

A few weeks ago, while Goose and Prissy were in summer ballet camp,   I met a few other moms.  At first glance, I was very intimidated.  Thinking I was the only mom who didn't have life with littles figured out.  However, as we shared with each other for one hour a day, four days that week, we all realized, "Thank God!  We are not crazy."  
No, we are the new normal.  

We shared our anxieties, that of late had left us battling a crazy version of ourselves. We concluded, of course, the reasoning: sleep deprivation, teething babies, homeschoolers who didn't want to do school, middle child syndrome. And on, and on, and on...
After that week, I was so grateful for a simple decision to break from my normal and take the girls to ballet.  The best gift I've received in a long time came in meeting these three women.  Homeschool moms with littles.  Each feeling unhealthy, crazy; and with a twisted sense of happy, we were all so grateful for each other.  I saw this as the olive beach God had for me as he chuckled at my realization that "crazy is ok". 


Saturday, March 1, 2014

Motherhood. Redefined.

There are moments that redefine our very existence.  Having my third child was one of those moments.  I knew having three children was going to be a vast contrast from my neat little box of four.  But now that our little one is coming on three months, this truth is all the more clear.
Welcome our little man!  Born in December.  
The girls tell everyone he is their 'first' baby brother.  
Mom quickly corrects that he's there ONLY baby brother!

I've heard many moms of little boys say that it is a different world with a son.  I didn't think about this very much.  But this little man IS a mama's boy.  Sure Daddy gets to cuddle when he's available (night shift). But for the most part I'm his 24/7; and until our schedule changes, this makes juggling the girls, homeschool and life in general very say the least.  I realize this is the norm at this stage, but I guess I really forgot (between pregnancies) what it is like the first few months. And mostly for good reason, ha!

I haven't taken time to blog in months.  There have been many A-ha moments when I would think, "I need to blog about this".   Because the humor must be shared! 

Example.  That redefining moment I mentioned earlier?  Yeah, that would be when BB (baby boy) was three weeks old.  It was around 3 am.  We were up for a feeding.  So as I'm feeding him, Goose needs me to help her in the potty.  While walking toward the bathroom (BB still latched), Prissy wakes with a nightmare!  So just to be clear:  BB on breast, oldest yelling for help, and middle screaming for Mommy to make it better.  all at once.  yeah.

Life since December has definitely brought a whole new meaning to the term "Welcome to Motherhood".  I've talked with some other new moms recently. Smiles are shared when we think of looking back on this season and admiring the women we were...are?!?!  

Parenthood. A precious gift. 
Children. A priceless inheritance.
Showers daily... A luxury!  :)
     Enjoy every moment. 

1. Don't bottle up the emotion tryin to be super-woman.  It won't happen. 
2. Remember to breathe. 

Laugh, cry, scream and above all exhale. Vent to that one sweet friend who is always available to listen and support you with encouraging words. And if you don't have anyone like that in your life, leave your "exhales" here in the comments.  I will listen.

I'm praying peace for all you Super Strong Mamas today! As you mold, nurture, chase and charm the little ones you've been blessed with... No matter their age.  You were chosen just for them. And I'm rootin' for you!!!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Living on Purpose...It starts at home

Last week, I posted an entry with a partial title, "It starts at home."  I am feeling a series of posts coming on that will focus on this topic.  They may be random.  Maybe not.  But lately I have resigned myself to only write when I am really motivated.  Actually this resignation is across the board of my daily routine.  (Pregnancy at an older age could attribute to this as well.)  However, I am encouraged by the wisdom I am gaining in the wee hours of morning.  So, I hope you glean from the lessons of this insomniac.

Gentleness and Patience.  An intentional life.  This is my plea.  

Sometimes in a season of waiting, we can get so focused on where we are going that the present becomes mundane.  I've been in this place for months.  This past year, WJ and I knew our season of sojourning was coming to a close.  And as our dreams are soon to becoming a functional reality, the waiting creates an impatience that oft times ruins my daily outlook.  I long for what is to come.  I cry out for that place we are headed, knowing in the physical that balance will come.  Better schedule, better community, more opportunity for our family unit.  Yet I know in my spirit that I still have lessons to learn right where I am.  

This morning.  Prime example.  
I awoke with the usual thoughts of marriage, motherhood, our household.  Knowing I didn't handle all as I should have yesterday, but knowing that I didn't prepare for my day as I should have either.  I could have spent more time actually being with my girls, instead of just existing under the same roof.  That load of laundry really needed to get done.  I should not have allowed the TV to be on as much.  So many little things that add up.  And yes, I could excuse this because of pregnancy, but somehow that seemed a bit off this morning.

Truth:  I am genuinely hard on myself about my time and focus, but somehow this keeps me on my toes.  I guess if I didn't care, I wouldn't be concerned with becoming better?!?    

  So, as I lay there, that still small voice prompted me to pick up my book Desperate by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson.  (Yes, I've had the book for a long time and no, I did not finish all at once.)  The next chapter I was on was entitled "Living on Purpose".  Amazing coincidence?  I think not.  

In the 12th chapter, Sarah Mae talked about not wanting to regret her life.  She wrote of how she woke up in the middle of the night in fear that she had not done enough as a mother.  Sound familiar?  Yeah, I thought so too.  She corresponded with Sally Clarkson on how to live more intentionally.  Putting her intentions into action.  Living on purpose.  The chapter was EXACTLY what I needed on this exact day.  And here are my thoughts from the wisdom that literally jumped off the pages right into my soul.

Journal Entry:  
My Thoughts - Fulfillment and Balance will not fully come by a mere change in geography.  This has to start now.  Right where I am.  Right here.  It has to come with how I prepare, view and live out each matter how simple.  No matter how much each day tries to convince me that life is mundane, I have to remember it's up to me to reject that and change the atmosphere.  

How can I change this?  this theory that geography is going to solve my longing for fulfillment?  three things...

1.  Nurture more than teach.
2.  Care more than command.
3.  Be intentional.  

Brainstorm - If I would just turn off the TV and fill our home with things that create joy... purpose will come.  So, what brings me joy?  Candles for the season, music, art projects and a good book.  Small ways to bring life into the home.  To connect me with my children, to enjoy what is left of this quiet season.  

My Prayer - "Lord, help me tune out what makes me passive and replace it with passion for life again so it can overflow in our home."  

Life has to happen on purpose.  Baby steps.
Today we buy a new book, a new candle and we dance.

UPDATE:  baby boy was born on December 10th. I still wake to feelings of missing the mark. However I've applied some of the insights from this post and life has been somewhat calmer... Even in the midst of adjusting to being a mother of three!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Preparing for each day...It starts at home.

I can claim the promises of God, allow scripture to penetrate my soul 
and spend countless hours with my Savior...
 I can speak encouragement to my peers, pray with those in need and 
walk in the light of Jesus among my community...  
If this is not first applied within my home, to my family, my children, then I have missed it.

It starts at home.

Our greatest influence, our biggest assignment, our most precious disciples.
Marriage, parenting and running the household.

Let this be a prayer and preparation for my soul, my will, each morning:

"I will walk with integrity of heart within my house."
Psalm 101:2

"Let the words of my mouth and the meditations fo my heart be acceptable in Your sight, oh my Rock and my Redeemer."  
Psalm 19:14

"Put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires."
Romans 13:14

"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude; it does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful, it does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never ends."  
1 Corinthians 13:4-8

"But the fruit of the Spirit is Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self Control; against such things there is no law."  
Galatians 5:22

"Therefore, as you have received Jesus Christ the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith.  Just as you were taught, abounding in Thanksgiving."
Colossians 2:6

~Lord, may your word be established in my heart.  May my body, mind and soul reflect the virtues of your ways so the heart of my husband can trust in me.  Let my tongue bring peace, calm and gentle instruction to my children.  In Jesus Name.

Monday, August 19, 2013

A daily life of purpose

Recently, WJ and I decided to revisit the way our home runs on a daily basis. We needed a new schedule.  And we needed to stick to it.  Make it happen.  In order to see this through, we challenged ourselves to implement this way of life for 30 days.  

What spurred this challenge?  Well, the obvious reason was that I had a very rough time during the first trimester of this third pregnancy. Life as we knew it had stopped. Completely.  For two months.  I had no motivation, no drive to do anything from housework to home school.  Sadly I will admit, the other three members of my family had been entertained for weeks on Netflix & PBS Kids while I tried to keep myself out of the bathroom! I was so thankful when weeks 14-15 came around.  All sickness and aversions to the kitchen in general, subsided. Life began to look normal again.  I actually found myself craving healthy food and was able to focus on the fact that I have daughters and a husband!  

Back in March, I had made a decent attempt to revisit life; of course, this was just before we found out about Baby H growing inside the womb.  So, on my 37th birthday (of all days) WJ and I finalized our plan. Hoping to create habits that would stick, I had evaluated our awake hours and worked up a better schedule for home school, meal times, family/craft time, etc.  We discussed past experience and realized that we are truly a family unit that needs a schedule.  Our lives and home run better with a little organization and determination. 

WJ's conviction of this had a bigger purpose.  He talked of the importance of making the most of our time now when our days were simple.  One job.  Two kids.  Not much activity outside the home.  He said that if we could do this now, we would be ready for more children, more community and one day, hopefully, our own business.  Made sense to me. Succeed in the small things... etc., etc. 

So, we did it.  I am pretty pleased to say that we are in our 6th week and things have been so much better.  Aside from the whole family being attacked with a yucky stomach bug mid-summer, we have accomplished what we set out to do.  And this home has been so full of joy.  Considering I am now 23 weeks pregnant with our third child, the timing of this new way of daily living was impeccable.  The girls are happier about school, I am walking upright, albeit large, still upright.  And WJ has a better view of our future.  

So far this pregnancy has been a symbol of many things 'revisited' for us.  The focus now: living.  BEING instead of doing.  Of course the house is not spotless, we live here.  And our 'To-Do list' isn't completed every day.  But our hearts are in it.  We are attacking each day with purpose.  

My biggest lesson in this:  the more I began to focus on the little workings of our family and our new challenge, the less time I had to see the negative, or what we didn't have.  I became thankful for what we did have.  This simple time in our lives.  I also had no time to allow selfishness to rear its ugly head!  

Well, that sums up our little world for now.  Hope you all have had a terrific summer and are as excited to welcome the beautiful season of Autumn as I am.  (Although, in the South, its more of a mindset than a physical expression!)  

What are some ways you have re-worked life to run smoother on a daily basis?  Has the Lord shown you anything about your family that could be preparation for busier days ahead?  What season do your find yourself in?    

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Life Revisited

This last month has been crazy.  Literally.  Finding myself in a slump... a dumpy place with no motivation to move, much less be a mommy.  Ever have those moments?  Well... welcome.  Life used to be so orderly, so scheduled.  But lately, in the words of my favorite blogger, Ann Voskamp, "I've traded perfection for a good dose of real."

I wondered so many times what in the world was happening to me?  Sure, WJ has a new schedule to which we have all taken longer to adjust.  But where did my 'drive' go?  Where did my passion for teaching, cooking and fitness go?  Just 2 months ago, I was so gung-ho!  Now, nothing.

I still don't have all the answers to this.  But I do know that God has shown me many things about myself and I'm realizing one major thing.  I AM NORMAL.  Never thought this before.  I'm always too hard on 'me'.  Too critical of my daily function.  I guess, since the creator of the universe already knew this, it was time for the big reveal.  And boy I am getting it.  I'm sure most of you reading this are smirking just a little.  If you are close to me then you knew this lesson was coming.  

I do not fault myself for wanting order in my home or a schedule that keeps me sane.  Some thrive on this.  Some hate it.  What I am learning is balance.  On days when reality collides with my mentally perfect world, I now know that I can survive it.  Its ok if the floors don't get swept, if the dishes are still in the dirty side of the sink when I wake up (ok, maybe only one or two nights a week!) The point is, life is about what we do, not how it looks.  I'm done with surface perfection.  This does not guarantee peace or happiness.

I am learning the seasons of motherhood, womanhood and wilderness.  And while this post may make no sense to anyone else, that is the beauty of it all.  

Life revisited from a 'normal' perspective.  My kids are safe.  They are fed and clean before bedtime (most nights).  I have simplified homeschool and we are on a much slower pace.  

Simplicity and balance.  This is my focus for the coming months. 
We will survive.  By grace and HOPE.