Monday, January 4, 2016

To be Disciplined

As I have been reading everyones hopes and resolutions for 2016, I have been asking the Lord to show me what He wants me to focus on this year.

I don't really do resolutions. For me, resolutions have always been something that I started January 1st and by the middle of January, I failed.

I don't want a resolution. I want a focus.

So, as I prayed, and thought, and thought, and prayed a little more, it came to me.


It is something I have truly lacked in my life, despite my deisre to be a disciplined person. Hence, my resolutions always failing, ha ha.

I have always admired when others were able to really stick to their goals, sometimes, seemingly wtihout it even being hard for them. (Though, I know that is likely not true.)

I have great ideas. Purposes for doing things. I am a fantastic list maker. I can look around my house and tell you exactly what needs to be done and how to do it. This quote really says how I feel.

I have the dream....just not the discipline.

First and foremost, I want to be disciplined in not only my household "duties" but in my spiritual walk with God. With my kids. With homeschooling. With exercising. With loving people around me. With following through on what I know needs to get done.

Funny story: Last week, I was praying for my two oldest girls at their bedtime. I prayed something about helping us to be more disciplined. The next night, as I was driving Keira, my  seven (and-a-half) year old home from dance class, she says, "Mom, why did you pray last night that we would be punished?" It took me a minute to figure out what she meant and then I just laughed out loud.  It was a bit hard to explain.

But, isnt' it so true that discipline is really what keeps us from needing "punishment"? Even as adults. I truly don't believe that God punishes us. I definitely feel that anything bad in our life comes from Satan himself, but we do get "punished" by our own consequences when we are not disciplined in certain areas of our life. important.

I can't fail at this by mid January because this is a focus. It's not a diet. It's not a program. I hope for it to be the focus of my life this year and the rest of my life!

What's your "thing" this year?

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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Homeschool Success

As a homeschool mom, I often hear, "I don't know how you do it." or "You are supermom". I assure you, I am not. There are a lot of things that get thrown to the side to accomplish the bare minimum. What I do accomplish, I can only do because of God's grace and the fact that He called me to this. As the mom's often talk about in my homeschool co-op, there are certainly many days where I have, what we call, "Yellow Bus Envy". It is hard. I am not going to tell you that it isn't.

But today is one of those days that I am reminded of a few of the reasons that I love this "job". Libby was able to read 4 sentences as part of her school work (she's in Kindergarten). I got to experience this with her. God used ME to teach her that.

When she finished reading, she looked at me with watery eyes and said, "It almost made me cry because I am so happy I can read." For a five year old to be able to say that and feel that is amazing to me.

They are all such different personalities, these kids of mine. While Keira fights me to do the bare minimum of schoolwork because she wants to do something else, Libby asks for more work every day. In this picture she is squeezing as many numbers onto a line as she can rather than writing each number 5 times like she needed to. (She asked if she could write them more). Too funny!

My heart is full. I have experienced this before with Keira and she is a fantastic reader (though she doens't like it) but I am so fulfilled today knowing that my kids are learning. They are giggling together all day long. They are in their jammies still at 2pm. They have learned so much today and spent time playing dolls and legos and pretend and a few rounds of musical chairs.

I write this not to boast but so that I can look back and remember that there are good days amidst the hard ones. Even at 8 months pregnant with a fifth child, high blood pressure, swollen feet and more medical bills than we anticipated, I find joy in my child's success.

Tomorrow, when I feel like I should be sticking one or all of them on the bus, I will try to remember today and that there will be more days like today in my future.

Despite the days when we bicker and fight all day about what needs to get done, I wouldn't trade this for anything.

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Monday, July 27, 2015

Feeling Settled

Today I woke up feeling settled.

This is strange considering we moved yesterday.

And even stranger considering what the house currently looks like....boxes in the wrong rooms...piles of random stuff....old curtains that are not ours hanging on the windows still. are some pictures:

But yet, I do feel settled in a way. Content.

This is the 8th home Tom and I have lived in together...and we celebrate our 8 year anniversary in just a few weeks.

But we bought this one.

Sidenote: How does anyone move with family and a church family around? Between the help we had moving heavy things...setting up beds, cleaning, watching our kids....and so much more...I am just not quite sure how anyone can possibly do these things alone! Thank you Jesus for the people in our lives!

We could live here forever. I am not crazy enough to say that we definitely will because you never know where God will lead us but still, just knowing that it is ours and we can stay makes it so different.

I can unpack one box at a time and PUT IT AWAY! I am not trying to think of how I can store things in a way that will be easy to move them next year. I can take my time trying to figure out where exactly I want things because there is no rush to make it feel like home.... is home and in many ways, I already feel settled....not organized...but settled.

There is NOTHING wrong with renting...especially in the area where we live in NY where the Taxes are ridiculously high. God had an amazing plan for us in renting for the last 8 years that allowed Tom to get his degree without us having to fix house problems or take care of a lawn and each step and job and place we have lived has led us to this point. We feel very clear on that and that this is the home that God has for us now.

So....I feel settled. Settled in God's grace. Settled in contentment. I pray that I can keep that feeling and knowing that God's plan is ALWAYS better than mine.

I heard this song on the radio this morning and the chorus describes how I feel....and the first verse really describes how I have been feeling without realizing how much I longed to feel settled. Today is Day One of the rest of my life....Day One of the BEST of my life.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

To go or not to go....

This week has been a whirlwind. Sunday night, we got a phone call that a good friend (who we were meeting for the first part of our vacation) is really sick and unable to go so we were going to need to change our plans. Although we were really sad about noit seeing their family, we knew that our plans were fairly flexible and we could rearrange our visit.

However Monday morning, we took our van in to have what we thought would be 1 part replaced and it ended up costing a LOT more than we had planned....because of more problems. I guess that is life with an old vehicle. Sigh.

Then...we get the dreaded phone call that the house we are in the process of buying did not assess for enough to get the mortgage we needed. We wouldn't know for a week or so what would be happening with that and we were originally scheduled to close before July 15th.

Ok Lord...what are you trying to do to us?!?!? haha

I just kept on praying and asking the Lord to make it clear whether He was trying to stop us from leaving or if these were just stumbing blocks that were being placed in our way to keep us from a MUCH needed time away as a family.

The devotional that I read that morning from Proverbs 31 ministries was literally titled "What to do When Life becomes turbulent?"

These are the reflect and respond questions from that devotional:

1. Am I shrinking back in fear and discouragement or am I drawing closer to God’s presence? 
2. Do I really believe God is in control of this situation? 
3. Am I going to worry or trust God — believing He will get me through this? 
4. How can I look for God’s goodness and glory in the midst of my challenge? 

I guess it could not have been better timed because my normally anxious self was very calm throughout the day and I just kept on feeling like we were supposed to go on this vacation.
We hadn't been away from home as a family for over 2 years and just really felt like our kids needed that time away from the chaos with us. worked out. We realize whether we are home or not, we cannot control the situation with the house. We need to let God be in control of whether we should be in that home or not.  Our vacation was not going to be expensive in the first place because we are staying with different poeple at their houses for all but 2 nights and I had already gotten great deals on hotel rooms that had been paid for months ago.

So...tomorrow mid morning, we shall head out, Lord willing!

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