Keyboard Hiatus (sort of)…

So I’ve been gone a while and I want to explain… since I last wrote we’ve moved, the kids are in school and I have gone back to school for my MBA.  So needless to say I’ve been limited for time, due to school work.   However, I had a clear answer to prayer while crying out to God on my knees for an hour….a couple of months ago. I asked him among other things what he wants me to do with my talents and ambition. he said “multiply your talents” the following day I received a call back from one of about 10 schools I was looking into for my plans to go back in two years and after he told me to do it now, I was both caught off guard but pleased because it was going to speed up my journey. So here I am on Christmas break after two and half months back into school, sitting at he local indoor trampoline park with the kids. I thought it would be the perfect time to update. This may mean I am not as active however I will still be updating my health journey.

 

Giving it up

The school year has begun, and after some uncertain detours, we come to a place of great direction. I have it up to God and prayed hard about my kids school decisions. At first we thought we were going to continue homeschooling our daughter but after about 2 1/2 weeks An amazing opportunity came and my husband believes it was God’s intention to allow us to start down one path and realize it was not going to work or bare good fruit before he allowed another option to take the place of our choice. She was given a very coveted spot in a patriotic charter school. So with last minute tours and purchase of uniforms she started at her first officially public school. Also after much prayer and a couple tours of different schools, our son is attending a private school where he is surrounded by those who love and encourage the type of behavior, and biblical world view we try to live out in our lives as a family. 

Our house building project became a distaster and we were tested repeatedly. Though we did not waver in our faith, we did struggle to keep our behavior and thought on God. It cause me to act in anger and sometimes rage that I am ashamed of. However we did get through it, and withdrew our offer. It was a huge load off our minds and hearts.  

Thankful for grace, and guidance from our most wonderful God through trials. It did produce patience and strength. 

Confession and processing

A vulnerable moment of truth that I feel has been prompted while I am in the midst of reading two books, “The Power of right believing”- Joseph Prince & “Save me from myself” – Brian Head Welch

Lately I have been preoccupied with self.  Self criticism, self doubt, self loathing, self focus, and so on… This in itself causes me to feel even more ashamed and self berating.  I know the truth.  Instead of focusing on myself, look up.  I know that is what changes everything.  I know that is what brings me through and cleans me inside of those nasty lies and manipulations from the evil one.  But, lately I have not been turning my eyes towards Heaven and that is always when I fall to prey to temptations.  So after listening to a bit of a book that I am currently enjoying I had to literally stop what I was doing to write, and shed the light on the truth, so that darkness may not linger.

My recent struggles with health have caused me to be so completely selfish.  Unfocused on the Lord and his amazing grace.  I probably sound extremely vain, and I find that each time I actually think about how I’ve been viewing myself and my own health and body struggle, it disgusts me.  As Paul says in Romans “For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”

I need prayer for this has been a failure on my part to not only love my Lord but love others, because I am too focused on myself.  I hate that.

Sometimes I think about how people think that knowing God is supposed to make us act better, but in fact I think it brings us to knowledge of how we are acting and how it is neither good for us nor others.  It also makes me realize that we are so easily self focused that it is a daily effort to lay down my own self, and turn towards him.  As a believer in the bible Jesus and not the religious one I know that he is why I can be imperfect and yet still have hope and assurance of his love.

I spend too much time thinking about what I am dealing with, and how it is affecting me; “I cannot do my job properly,

I am unable to be a good mother,

I am failing my husband,

Why can’t I just push through this?”

But then I look and listen and realize all I am doing is say I, I, I…..

Why not me?  I have never had health struggles a day in my life.  Why not me?  I have never had to stick to it, when I wanted to quit. Why shouldn’t I have to stick to it? I have judged so many, on their inability to just suffer through and yet I have never had to.  Why not me, and why not now? Yes I have had a hard childhood, and a hard youth, but it only made me stronger today and able to push harder against adversity.  So there is no reason I should not be given an even greater opportunity to love the Lord through times of even more personal struggle.  Every struggle I’ve endured has been external or self inflicted.  Why shouldn’t I too be given even bodily struggle as Job.  Our american life and culture does not know many things about true life and death struggle and survival the way many others in the world who love the Lord do.  Most of our struggles are emotional and in tangible worries, stress, and inconveniences.  So why? When I have only asked for God to give me opportunities to be better, and asked for ways to grow in my understanding, should I not now be given a challenge to answer those prayers?  I want to grow in my abilities as a mother, as a wife and in my relationship with Jesus.  I want to have understanding of the truth and wisdom.

On another note: this last week during a bible study I attend irregularly, we covered Josh 24:15-24 to sum it up in my own words and understanding that day Joshua is telling the Israelites that they are to far gone and sinful to receive God’s forgiveness, and in my opinion he was challenging them to prove that they were willing give up the gods they had worshiped and the ways they were living.  I realized that this is a great situation to challenge me to give up my self love, die to myself and serve only him.  I struggle with trusting God.  I know the truth, and I believe it one hundred percent with out any doubt, but I still struggle with trusting God.  But Joshua says “you are not able to serve the Lord.  He is a holy God; he is a jealous God. He will not forgive your rebellion and your sins.” This is so not the God Jesus teaches of, this is not the God that I’ve known, but for some reason this is the God I tend to see sometimes when I look at him because of my own selfish self loathing.  Like I said before, I can relate to Paul, I hate with I do.  I believe wrong and struggle to let him have everything all the time.  And then I feel horrid for it, and the evil one uses that against me to torture my thoughts.

I know its expected to have struggles, and yet because I know that God has won the war, I go back and forth between the truth and looking toward and focus on him, and focus on myself and allowing my mind to battle with the evil one.  I have for many years of my life had a very strong spiritual warfare surrounding me, and for some reason God has given me sight to see it sometimes.  He has allowed me to see the unseen and sense or feel angelic presence and even see demonic tormentors.  I have had to fight with scripture and prayer in multiple occurrences similar to the type of battles that occur in the book“This present darkness.”  I have verbally resisted and they have fled quickly and I have also had difficult battles that lasted, and seemed very frightening.  I have had vivid dreams all my life and unfortunately they have always been unpleasant to say the least.  Most days I have a quite positive attitude and joy that I am very thankful for especially because I know that is best for my family.  However there are times and days or nights when I have gone through severe depression and mental spiritual warfare that has consumed all my energy.   I believe that lately my poor health has only fueled those occurrences and made them even more prevalent. This is the confession that I must make in order to bring the sin of my wrong thinking into the light of love so that it cannot continue to have a strong hold on my and also to ask for prayer from the body of my sisters and brothers.

Please do not judge or leave shrink me comments in reply, but  if you feel the desire to help please pray for me.  Thank you.

Finding the right outlet in God’s timing

As an ambitious and free spirit I find that I must find time for myself and my creative outlet as a full time mom and housewife.  I devote so much of my time to my home and my children, that I need a break for myself to indulge in me time, as well as a creative outlet to allow expressive and enjoyment of my own.  Not to say I do not enjoy being with my children all day, and spending time with my husband at night; but I know if I do not take some time for me I will be spent too often and loose my enjoyment and even sometimes my cool with my family.

I am blessed to have a husband who is very helpful around the home and understands my need for me time, so he encourages me to take time for myself to have a break from the house as for me, my battery recharges from energy extravert activities.  I am not naturally a homebody, but he is, so we end up spending a large majority of our time at home spending time together.  We still go out just not as often as I used to both because we have children and also to save money for more important fun.

Sometimes that means we go on vacations, and sometimes that means I go out for a visit with a girlfriend over drinks and dinner, or coffee.  He encourages me to take little day trips to a faraway city to go shopping and get my city fill, since we live in a small city and I need a little bit of the bustle each season.

I am and always have been an artist at heart and spent many hours as a single or child creating art.  If I could have or had been encouraged to pursue it more I would have.  I am now able to do it when I have time, or when my husband helps me make time to pursue art outside of home, such as performing.  Spending a large portion of my childhood in performing arts and singing it was and still is a passion of mine.

I’ve spent time as a housewife indulging some of my art at home such as painting, drawing and culinary arts but I wished to continue and missed performing as well.  So volunteering with the children’s Sunday school I led children praise on Sunday mornings for a bit in our last location.  It was very rewarding and I loved seeing their little faces light up.

So recently after a 10 year hiatus I auditioned and got the part in a play at our local dinner theater.  So in the midst of a play, though it is very hard work, I enjoyed every minute of it.  I feel as though I am able to still do something I love and be the kind of mother I want to be as well as who I feel my children need at this stage of life.  My husband is supportive and asks me about it to show me he cares about my interest, and for this I am thankful.  Which has resulted in another opportunity to because I was asked by a co-star who is starting his own preforming arts co., to be in his first show as one of the actors dropped out.

Lately writing and acting have been my outlets for creativity that I have been able to work into this season of littles.  I do with there were more opportunity for acting but I do recognize that God always puts me where I need to be in order to grow and mature in the ways I need to for future success.

Rescued

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Well, I’ve done something impulsive… I brought home a  puppy about four months ago.  Mostly because I’ve been dying for a dog for years but also because she was free.  I found her at the local Walmart, 😛 and there was a couple young girls who had a large litter they could not afford to keep.  She is a Black Lab/Boxer mix and I couldn’t resist.  So of course now I am learning all that comes with having a puppy is similar to having a new baby again.  The pee the poop and waking up in the middle of the night…ugh.  It’s worth it though. She has stolen my heart and I’m determined to teach her and become her pack leader.  I immediately realized it will be a great teaching tool for myself to learn self-control of my emotions, and help my children to also learn some new skills.  I’ve binge watched the first season of Cesar 911 (the dog whisperer) and I’m reading some amazing articles on his website Cesars way.  I’m learning how to control my emotions to be a calm and assertive leader.  So far I think I am having progress.  My children on the other hand are struggling.  My daughter, the tween of the home, could not help herself every time she was near the puppy to fawn over her with awe’s and ohh’s and spoil her with affectionate attention before she started to be the master.  This unfortunately turned very quickly into the reason why now the puppy sees her as a play thing instead of a master and try to nip and get too aggressive with her.  We are working on that little hiccup.  My son on the other hand started out being a little timid yet still antagonistic so now when ever he is around her he tries to get her to chase him and then if she nips him or gets too rough he gets hurt.  This is also a frustration because I cannot keep my eyes on the both of them at all times, and since he is determined it is a battle to teach him to listen and obey my commands to leave her alone and learn from me how to act with her so that she is not aggressive.  I understand that some of her behavior is normal puppy stuff, however I believe some of the behavior with the kids is aggravated. I’ve had her in puppy training now for about a month, and it is going quite well.  Go figure it’s not even a fancy dog school, just a really great trainer at Petco.  She too is a student and believer of Cesars Way.  So we are working together with the same belief system of how to treat and lead a puppy.  I’ve found this to be quite a new job for me, though I never thought I would be one to rescue a puppy from Walmart, I know that there are often times too many puppies that go to the pound or abandoned because of this same situation.  I’m only glad she had not come from an abusive situation.  She shows no signs of insecurity and is a very quick learner so far.  Now as a Mother and homemaker, I have one more task on my plate.  I know I did it to myself, but I have a habit of loading up with a ton of responsibility.  I do however think that this is helping me and bringing our family towards common goals more often now.  Because of the age difference of my children, and the extreme opposites of myself and my husband its is a common ground that I am thankful fell into my lap.

Moving with the change of the waves.

The holidays have passed and vacations are over so back to normal life as it would be. The new year seems to have come so fast this year, and I find that each year around this time I look toward the end of the winter and school and it seems so far off.  Since this year we’ve decided to homeschool again, and next year our twelve year old will be going to middle school and returning to the school that she previously attended and I am quite looking forward to it.  I think it will be a little easier to focus my time and divide it between the daily to do list and my four year old son, whom I will be working with to harness his will and teach to have self control and obedience.  Not that I do not have that task now, just that it is much harder to put more focus on the task when I have my other daughter who occasionally still needs me as well.  I must be one of those parents that just simply cannot herd a large brood of children or manage a ton because I find that I feel too stretched with two children as it is.  I guess thats why I am glad we did not have more than two.  I find that just simply finding the time to tidy up or get a shower in competes with the attention seeking children and often they win.  If I cannot manage to get my four year old to play with his toys alone I begrudgingly put him on a cartoon so that I can get an hour window to accomplish something on the list.  If I have errands to go take care of out of the house I often times just have him in tow with me and consolidate them into one day rather than multiple days, therefore I am out of the house for a while.  Thus the life of a full time mom of a pre-schooler.  He works on ABCmouse and for some game/learning time in the mornings usually before lunch.  This I’ve found is a great resource for teaching some basics and incorporating education into games.  I was a preschool teacher in my younger years and I find that the program is very similar to what I used to do with children of this age when I was teaching.  I still teach him some of the academics but I’ve been using this program now to do more academics and I spend more time one on one teaching character, self-control, manners, and basic life skills.  I love to get involved with the ABCmouse with him, and he is always showing me the projects he is working on, since I’m in the same room working on other things as well supervising him.  With my daughter she was in part time preschool while I went to college.

Its been a little hectic this winter, and being in a smaller temporary home makes it more difficult than usual.  We are a mobile family and this year last two years have been the more than usual. With moving to another state and not even seeing the home we would be moving into; we then realized that though it was a nice rental home, it was much more than we needed and more than I could handle to take care of by myself.  So we moved into a smaller townhouse.  This also became an issue as we were outgrowing it and cramped.  So once again we have been looking for a new home to reside in until our next PCS.  After a lot of prayer and looking, we’ve finally found what I think will be out next abode.  A new construction that is right in the process ready for us to choose textiles and so we put in an offer and it was accepted.  This will be our first new home and first building experience as well.  However it seems we have already got a good deal on the plan, and frame; plus our realtor is going to be with us through the process to help.  So though we will be looking at our third move in three years, I think it will be a good choice for we’ve learned a lot along the way and prayer has shown us this is meant to be.

There is always some sort of challenge along the way with our life, and it stretches us and helps us to grow.  Whether it be moving, husbands job, or children and their growth and developmental process; it seems we do not normally have a quiet life, therefore I find it forces us to create a more simple and quite day to day life.  I do however believe that these things are blessings. “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” ~James 1:2-4