Monday, December 7, 2015

I tried - having emotions

Recently I have been getting together with a wiser lady from our church.  Just someone to help navigate my path; as a wife to a Christian college husband.  As a baby in biblical teachings. 

Recently I told her how I am the emotionless friend. In the previous weeks I had women come to me - admitting that they came to me because I am their "calm me down," "rational" or "emotionless" friend/person.

{can I be transparent} 

My heart is thawing. I WANT TO FEEL.  My heart has been so protected over the last couple of decades.  My heart was hardened and locked away.  My only goal in life was to not let anyone see or be close.  For anyone I let in always failed, hurt or left me.   

For awhile I have been asking God to break my heart for what breaks his.  



As I begin to learn about my emotions and what I feel, I now get teary-eyed at joyful sightings.  I now praise louder not caring about my horrible tune.  I now weep at the brokenness of the world.  I now pray more. I am more intentional with people.  Even my own students' stories lay heavy on my heart. I truly listen to those speaking to me -- with the intent to listen, not to respond.   

I AM STARTING TO FEEL. 

It's probably strange to ask for feelings or emotions.  But I thought I was weird. I was thinking too much about my thinking. 

I asked my mentor if I needed to change? If it's possible to over think, analyze; be too scheduled, routined, organized, practical, rational, ISTJ.  


She agreed that the church/body of Christ needs all people to function. That people need people like me.   That's why people come to me - I bring a sense of stability. 

Hearing that; my heart melted a bit more.  

I genuinely do care about people perception of me. I want them to see Jesus  through me. 

Although I can not change who I am (someone else is in charge) I am learning about perspective, tact and loving like Jesus.  Although I am still honest - I do my best to speak with dignity, grace and love.  I now continue to pray for the correct words to speak to people. I pray for timing. I pray to be more like him.  I am so thankful to have people in my life who are Jesus to me; to be those examples, to give me grace in return as they help me grow.  And I am thankful that God allows me to have opportunities to love people. 


I am sure it's cliche - but seriously. Knowing that my heart is in his hands reminds me that my approach to the world was wrong.  I guarded my heart for people broke it - but God protects my heart for I am his daughter and he is my king.  


There is a peace that overwhelms me.  I FEEL HIS PRESENCE.   I am thankful for having that peace. That feeling. That emotion. 

I tried having emotions. And they are there.  But most importantly I am no longer locking my self up and defending my heart with sharp word-like arrows. 

God is good.  He brings us peace.  He has brought me peace.   I am learning to feel have healthy emotions.  But most importantly he has brought me peace knowing that I am an important part of the body of Christ. 

I challenge you this week to ask for peace into your life. To be the peace others are so desperately looking for. I challenge you to find peace even in times when you are overwhelmed and lost.  

I tried - having emotions.  I found them. How about you? Are you on the emotional frontier or more reserved with letting others in? How do you handle the rough times? How do your praise the good?   


Sunday, November 15, 2015

I tried - not loosing it {a relatable mommy moment}

Today. 

Today. 

Today has been one of those days. You know what I am talking about. You wake up and instantly regret that choice (or request or obligation).  


Here's the picture:

Soren - the baby - wakes up at 6; he is poopy!!!  I change him and know I only have moments before big brother stirs; so I decided to lay down Soren with me in bed. (Don't tell. We weren't really cosleeping; because sleep was not involved). 

Sure enough 6:15 I hear the stirring of Gideon.  I hope if I hide under the covers he will go back to bed and think I have disappeared.  He's too smart for my childish ideas.  So he is in bed, at my feet; kicking me as I am protecting Soren (who went back to sleep).   Gideon gets my phone around 6:45 ----> can I refuse to wake up? ←--  and plays games (only educational of course ...and selfies).  



7:20 rolls around, even though I thought no time has passed and my sweet husband hops out of bed (yeah my hero) and makes a bottle.   Unfortunately he didn't have time to feed booger; he was to be at the church by 8:00.  

I barely had one foot on the floor when Gideon is asking for food, Soren starts crying for his bottle, and I Just want to go the bathroom … Alone…. What's that? 

IT STARTED OUT A BEAUTIFUL SUNDAY MORNING. 

Naturally, like all wonderful parents, cartoons were put on... by Gideon (seriously, he knows how to work the remote...train them right).  I feed Soren and start on our breakfast.  

I was excited - breakfast was pleasant, as was the cooking. I had day old coffee, zucchini veggies and eggs and Gideon had oatmeal with blueberries and hot chocolate. 



So…

That peace didn't last long.  

Went to lay booger down for his nap so I could get ready for church and Gideon was playing in his room.  A typical Sunday. 

THEN IT STARTED - the mommy moments, one after another. 

I come out of our room and see Gideon barely sneak into his room.  Soren is crying and I can tell Gideon was in there (toys making music, fan on). So I got onto Gideon (mommy fail moment - he was trying to help).   

Fast forward through the replaced pacifiers, reswaddle screams, pick up and sway back to sleep to only start the crying once their head briefly touched the mattress, all while constant praying. 

Just holding him in the rocking chair I simply start crying. 




I am so frustrated. I have these feelers and don't know what to do with them or where they even came from. As an ISTJ - I like logic - and logically Soren should be asleep, I should be dressed reading enjoying coffee, and Gideon reading/playing too.  

I FELT OUT OF CONTROL.  

Gideon came and rocked with us. Booger back to sleep, and my tears wiped away. Then the very next moment - screams come from Soren's room. 

GIVING UP…

I DON'T WANT TO ADULT TODAY. 



Still trying to get ready (a 20 minute process that took 2 hours today!) I get the screaming baby and try him in our bed, in his bouncer, on the floor with toys, on the floor on his tummy, holding him, rocking him, I holler at backup (Gideon is the best big brother) though Mr Comedy earned No smiles. 

I walk into the living room. Stand. And. 

I SCREAM   *instantly felt like the worst mommy*



I said no words. Just had to release the tension. 

HE IS JUST A BABY. 
HE IS JUST COMMUNICATING. 
HE IS JUST TIRED/HUNGRY/MAD. 

I was then scolded by Gideon for making his brother cry (even though he never stopped).  He told me I made a bad choice. I tried explaining to him my mommy frustrations. I tried explaining to him that mommys make mistakes. I tried making this a learning opportunity that we could pray together and all would be right in our home.  But that was all interrupted with more 4 month old cries. 

I threw on some different clothes and quickly “beautified” my tear stained cheeks and red weepy eyes[my husband said I looked nice when he saw me at church].   

By this time it was time for Soren to eat.  Gideon helped by dressing himself and we left.  

I was still strung tight after the events of the morning - but knew I would enjoy church, so we went.  

After dropping the boys off to their classes I ran into a mommy friend. Although she doesn't know it, her hug and words were so comforting. I am not alone. 

I AM NOT ALONE. 
I AM NOT THE WORST MOMMY. 
I AM NOT THE ONLY PARENT WHO HAS A SLEEPLESS CHILD.  

The sermon moved my heart; parenting never ends {I have another chance} 



Okay the sermon was really called “rebuilding never ends” and that we are loved and have multiple chances.  

Right after church, and a few more tears during songs, I knew I had to change my attitude, change my heart. I am a good mommy. I love my children as God loves me; so I quickly went to pick up the boys to give them hugs and kisses and tell them I am sorry and that they are loved. 

I was affirmed more about these mommy moments as I was talking to another mom at small group - that she too has moments where she is done and needs help (like someone taking baby for a drive).  

The day turned out really well.  Soren took a 3 hour nap after church. I was able to get a nap and run in before dishes and small group. 

{God is Good} 

Mommys/daddys/grandparents: 
You are loved 
You are not alone 
You are redeemed 
You are given another chance 
You can do this. 

Saturday, November 7, 2015

[UPDATE]

Looking at my last post from 10/9 - it's been almost a month!


It has been a full fall season with lots of friends, family, and fun! 

I am not even for sure where to begin.

The boys had a great Halloween, we took family pictures a while ago, I am still running/on a weight loss journey/lifestyle change. 

Jeremiah only has about a month left of school.  Another semester under his belt.   I am just truly blessed to call him my husband.

I have started meeting with a mentor friend. Julie is great and I always look forward to meeting with her about life, ministries, marriage, families, life, JESUS.  On our first meeting she gave me a journal.  The journal is probably one of the reasons (of several) that I have not written in a while.  But through this journal I have been able to write more about how I see God moving in our lives.  It is a nice way to start, be during, and end the day.  God is Good.

Being as November is the 'thankful' month on social media.  I have not been participating in the sense of writing a post of what I am thankful for every day.   1) I do believe that we should be thankful every day regardless of the month/holiday.   2) repeat number 1. 


Writing in my journal I have seen God answer prayers, work through my personal negativity and lack of value.  I have been able to write about my life style change, take better sermon notes, put ink to paper my life goals. 


The boys are both doing really well.  Soren is 4.5 months old already - seriously, where is the time going!?!?  Gideon is by far the BEST big brother possible.  He aims to see his brother smile and doesn't like to hear him cry (and sometimes only Gideon can get Soren to laugh when no one else can).   Gideon is doing really well in pre-school as is his daddy.    

I have a few students who are rough; but I think they are coming around.  As I was talking to Julie this week I had a couple of questions for her 1) how do you be intentional when so many are broken or need that constant love 2) relationships are more important than math (sometimes hard for me to admit).  

This year I am writing all of my students a Christmas card.  I am constantly reminded them that their self value is not in the grade they get in math - it is a number - it is ambiguous. I truly do care for all of these kiddos.

Lately I have been thinking about my future.  I went to school to teach, and thought that is that.  I didn't think about what God has in store for me.  I still have 3 years of teaching while Jeremiah finishes his bachelors and then will be completing his masters.  I think after he is done with his education I am going to go back for counseling.  Jeremiah thinks I should get the pastoral counseling degree.  I just want to work with those that need it most.    But we will see - God always has a better plan  =] 

Friday, October 9, 2015

I tried - being a working mom {an open letter to working moms}

Dear Working Moms,

You are doing great! (Hopefully by the time you finish reading this you get tired of hearing how terrific and great you are.)

To my fellow moms who wake up before the sun just to get the day started before tiny bodies start to wiggle out of their peaceful rest and you then shortly drive off while the sun rises to take tiny yawning face to daycare or preschool or grandmas sometimes eating breakfast in the car; five times a week.
To my fellow moms who go to work every day for multiple hours (sometimes in grueling environments) without hearing from their pint size children.
To my fellow working moms who work outside of the home, away from their babies, for 45 hours a week - sometimes spending more time with other people than their own children - missing MOPS or PAT outings, missing birthday parties and celebrations, missing trips to the zoo or fun "breakfast dates" to the park.



{Working moms you are the unsung heroes to today's families}


You are doing great superMOM!

1. Mommy guilt - you are doing great because you have learned how to cope and manage mommy quilt.  Sometimes the only way to handle these feelings is through prayer, tears, chocolate, and when time allows snuggles with those sweet babies that call you mom.  Mommy guilt is an emotion that not all females experience, but it pulls on your heart strings in ways you can't describe and sometimes leaves you feeling and questioning everything that you are doing.  Just remember, YOU ARE DOING GREAT! Don't give up.

2. Selfishness - you are doing great because you have to take care of yourself too.  Typically, as moms, you tend to put everyone else's needs before your own including people at your jobs.  But you are doing great because you have learned that you need time for you.  Don't let mommy guilt seep in.  Hit the gym or the donut shop.  Go out with friends, even if you want to be home by 9 so you can go to bed "early" for once (even though we all know you will be up until 11 working while babies sleep).   Just remember that you have to make time for yourself because if mommy isn't happy, nobody is happy.

3. Let it go - you are doing great, so let it go.    Let go of all the negative comments.  Let go of all the guilt.  Let go of all the pride.  Let go of everything that holds you back.  No one is perfect, so let it go.   You can not change people and their comments, but you can change and control how you react to them.  Don't argue with your child what to wear - let it go.  Don't worry about having cereal for dinner - let it go.  Don't worry about your project having a spit up stain on it - let it go.   Life is too short to try to be perfect.  Life is too short to follow Pinterest expectations.  



4. Enjoy your kids! - You are doing great because you love your kids.  But STOP. Don't just love your kids but enjoy them.   As you learn to let things go enjoyment will start to be more present.  Let the dishes go and spend 5 more minutes babbling with your baby.  Working moms work off of schedules, schedule special time for your children.  Whatever time you can etch into your full schedule for your kids will reward you beyond words.  Remember - you are doing great, treasure those special times.   Your job will always be there, but your children grow and change.

5. Your job - you are doing great as a mom because you like your job, and that's okay.  Don't be embarrassed or ashamed that you like your job.  It is true that some moms have to work.  But some moms want to work ---> AND THATS OKAY! <---  It's okay to admit that you want to work.  It's okay to share with others your struggles and truths with your job.  You are doing great for you are working for your family.



6. Cry - Sometimes, as a working mom, you feel so busy and isolated that the only thing you want to do is cry.  SO.  CRY.  Seriously, give it a good healthy cry.  Sometimes, as a working mom, you are so filled with love when you pick up your child after a long day of work and they tell you they missed you.  Cry with joy!  Sometimes you walk into your laundry room, and you just want to barrier yourself under all those clothes and just have a good healthy cry.  Sometimes, while at work, you get a call about a family member needing something, and you can't leave at that EXACT moment - cry. Great people cry too.



7. How, just how, do you do it? - You are a great mom for you somehow, and sometimes without understanding, get it all done. You not only work full time, but you work at home too!  You are doing great for you are doing your best.  Being a stay at home mom has a list of different challenges, but seriously, a working mom faces all of the same battles with dishes, laundry, weight loss, meal planning, library hour, grocery shopping, paying bills/paper work, doctor appointments, family events, soccer practice,........in a fraction of the time.  You SOMEHOW get all the same things done in a matter of hours instead of days, all while trying to spend time with your children.  So you rock working mom! YOU ROCK!



8. There is tired... then there is working mom tired - you are a great mom because even on your worst days, you still do your best to fight through the sleepiness and exhaustion.   There is college student tired, there is teenager tired, there is adult tired, there is parent tired, THEN THERE IS WORKING MOM TIRED.  You can't miss work no matter how late you were up with dishes or baby.  And while at work you can't sit with a cup of coffee and just do nothing.  You can't nap at work - you barely have time to rest.  You have to get up in the morning and not wear yoga pants and look semi-professional.  You are great mom, you've got this!



So, working moms, when you have that down day and you question everything you are doing.  When you feel like all of your friends have the easy life while you miss out all of the fun.  When you are so tired that you think coffee is a food group.  When you just sit down to fold laundry and cry yourself to sleep.  When your preschooler tells their teacher they want to be like you, or your profession.  For those days that are rough and for those days filled with joy just remember....

YOU ARE DOING GREAT!!




Your children see all of your hard work and although they might not be able to verbalize it now, one day, they will appreciate all that you do for them.

Sincerely,
A working mom


~ PLEASE NOTE ~ 1) Single moms are the ninjas of supermoms.  I wouldn't last in their shoes.  2) I have several friends who are stay at home moms, you are a great mom too.  This was strictly to empathize with other working moms and maybe bring a smile to their faces. 3) working/single dads are important too! Love those great dads. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

I tried - Fasting {for 3 days}

{This is a long post for it covers a journey of three days.  The pictures are some of the scriptures that I was lead to read over while on this journey.}

Even as a mom who tries, I still have many (as many as you can imagine) fails.    There are days that I raise my voice or use incorrect words or have a snappy tone at my husband, or my children, or my students, or my mom.... you get the picture.  There are days that I want to be self-serving and want the world to revolve around me. There are days I don't read the bible.  There are days I don't pray as "good" as I probably could.  There are days that I just fail.

When I hear a person use the word "try" it means that at some point they were not successful.   That was not the case.   I tried fasting, and I did it.

I went 72 hours without eating.  Well, consuming "physical" food.

Lets travel back in time.    After having Soren, I was on the mission to get to the smallest/healthiest  I've been since probably high school.  What a mission at hand.  I have the mind set in place; it will take time, for it is a journey.    I ate horrible one Saturday when we had friends over and the following Sunday I decided that I was going to try a fast for my physical self.  Although it was difficult, it really wasn't that bad.  That Sunday night Jeremiah and I were talking about fasting and it made me want to do more research into the subject.

Being a busy mom, I knew I had to plan this fast to not take away 'life' from my family.  I read somewhere that you can go from lunch to lunch so that your body can have more rest time.   I decided that the weekend (Friday night until Saturday) Jeremiah would be gone for a Men's Retreat would be a perfect time to attempt my first fast.

***Friday September 18th *** 11:05 I ate a very sensible lunch (salad, no dressing with shredded bbq chicken) and had no idea what this fasting would bring!

I text Jeremiah that it was my last meal and that if I seem cranky, upset, or short tempered that he asks me to pray for my attitude.   Jeremiah then did the best thing he could have done for me - he said to make sure that I have a purpose for the fast - something that I want God to speak to me or show me.  That fasting without a goal will reveal nothing.

WHAT DID I WANT HIM TO REVEAL:  My main focus was that I wanted to feel the holy spirit; that I wanted to feel connected again.  I connect best with God through nature and if I am denied that opportunity I start to feel disconnected (as I have been because our lives are lived so much on the go).  I was also wanting to feel more disciplined in my actions and words.  I wanted to understand what God is trying to tell me.

<Matthew 16:24>

Friday night it was just me and my two little boys.  Habit was the hardest thing to break.  Gideon was eating popcorn and watching a movie.  He would offer me some.  In the past I would just take a nibble, or why I'm cleaning stop and grab a hand full.  But I really had to stop and think; what am I doing.  I do not need this food.  I am not hungry.  I need to be spiritually fed.    Temptation is easily there when you are serving a 3 year old who wants to share or leaves a trail of food for mommy to clean/eat up.
As I was feeding Soren his bed time bottle I couldn't help but watch Gideon play with an over flowing basket of toys.  Our lives our full.  But sometimes they are full for the wrong reasons.  I just looked around and I so wanted to get rid of, well pretty much everything.  We are so blessed with our home, and the things in it.  However, in the end, it doesn't really matter.


*** Saturday September 19th ***
Saturday morning breakfast was hard for me.  Not because I was hungry, but because it was one of the most treasured times I look forward to during the week.  It was the time that I could "sleep in" until the boys got up at 7:00.  It was time for me to rest, drink coffee, and just not be in a hurry.  It was time for me and Gideon to eat homemade pancakes together and share coffee.  I understand I could have still done all of those without consuming food; but it was just different.  Odd.

In our very full lives we didn't have too long of a morning to rest.  For having to get two boys around on your own can sometimes be a challenge.  I was to be ready at 9:45 to go take the boys to our friend Ayla's so she could watch them while my sister and I ran the route for an upcoming 5k.  Thank you again Ayla for being so willing to help us.

As I struggled to finish the last 1/3 of the 5k.  I had to remember what God was doing through me.  I am not running just for the sake to run but that I need to get healthier for my family.  Now, as I type this - the actual race is merely hours away and I look forward to God helping me complete the race as he helps me in everything.

<1 Peter 5:7>

At one point during the day I had to apologize to my friend Jessica for my attitude.  Although we both realized that perception via online text can sometimes be difficult to read, I had to stop and say sorry for my words were not helpful or loving.  Although they weren't anything awful, they were the old self and I am constantly checking my attitude, asking for forgiveness, and learning how to speak more clearly, humbly, with correct tone and encouragement.

That evening one of my closest friends came to hang out with me.  We had such a wonderful conversations about serving people (baby showers, birthday parties, foods after a life event, etc).  It was so nice to be able to share life with her.  We were also blessed that we got to go see our beautiful friend Emily and her new baby girl, Laney.    On the way to the hospital I stopped to pick up coffee and cake pops for the new momma and the feeling that overcame as I got to serve her was just lovely.  Seriously, it was lovely.  I hope that she got the same feeling when Emily blessed our family with so much when Soren was born.  Isaiah 58 - live it.

<Isaiah 58>


*** Sunday September 20th ***
I became unhinged.  My temper was short.  My attitude was poor.  I wasn't feeling the physical effects of not eating for almost two days.  But I was feeling the emotional effects.  Gideon just could not get it together as we got ready for church.  Jeremiah, having his internship at the church, is always there hours before we attend.  I am left in charge of getting the boys there, on time, in clean clothes!
Finally, as I was in a rush to help Gideon get his shoes on, because he refused to do it himself, I realized that my tone was harsh, my attitude was sour.  I asked Gideon to pray for my attitude to change.  We made it to church on time, and my attitude changed and I was filled from the sermon.
The sermon, based of Ezra 9 and 10 was about rebuilding through repentance.  We have to own our sin, follow through realizing we can't fix everything, and lean into the love of God.

~Owning Our Own Sin~

Owning our own sin.  That was what struck a nerve.  I struggle with my words and attitude, not just to build walls and protect myself.  But it's also because I am prideful and was never really taught how to own my own sin.  Although, I can see that I am getting better at (is that prideful or a self-reflection), asking for forgiveness with friends, it would be nice to just not have that sin in the first place.  MAN.  CHURCH. WAS. GOOD.
It was time for communion and without hesitation I took part of breaking bread.  Immediately after that little piece of bread and small amount of juice passed over my tongue I thought "Oh, no!  Did I just break my fast."   I laughed to myself as I heard that this is not food, for it is of Jesus' body.  I just wept.  I was feeling connected to God again, the first time in a long time.

<Hewbrews 4:16 - 18>

After church I had two personal realizations.  Denying food was not nearly as difficult as denying company with people around a table.  I felt like it would by lying if I told people that I wasn't hungry.  I started to say (even to Gideon when he so commonly wanted to share) that I will eat later.   A few people after church wanted to go out to eat.  But, I wanted to bless Emily and Laney with more treats;  that is when I realized that temptation was no longer tempting when I was the one to ask for it.  I was successful in walking into a cupcake store, buying a cup cake, and not eating it.

<Matthew 6:16 - 18>

At the hospital Emily mentioned how healthy looking I was.    My journey to loose 60 pounds after having our second son has been a slow and steady life style change, but I appreciated the compliment.   But it made me think about fasting.  How this was between me and God and that I was to not grumble over it but I was to wash my face like normal.  Although, Saturday as Amanda and I were driving late that night to see Emily, I did confess to her that I was fasting.  I didn't share this with her in a grumbling manner, but more because I am just not a good lier, and the fact that she was with me for 5+ hours, it was pretty obvious I wasn't eating!

Sunday after nap I started to feel more physical effects.  I would get really dizzy if I got up to quickly. We had small group families over.  Instead of eating with them it gave me an opportunity to connect with Cheyenne a sweet teenager who watches our children.  It was nice to have that time with her.

As I was cleaning up that night I had my first thought of "just one bite."  I was cleaning up Jessica's soup that smelled so delicious.  Gideon did not eat all of his, and normally I would sneak a bite before throwing it away (what a waste).  But I refrained and remembered how far I have come with God's help.  He was teaching me discipline in that very moment.  Jeremiah informed me that the soup was in fact as delicious as it smelled.  I moved on and started to prepare a very healthy green smoothie for my lunch on Monday.  As I worked I continued to pray for Monday morning with my students.  I wanted to make sure my attitude was in check.

*** Monday September 21st ***
I woke up and I didn't have hunger pains likes I did yesterday and honestly thought I could do a week fast.  What was difficult was how I felt so sluggish and slow and dizzy and had a small headache.    I had to stop and pray while trying to get ready in the morning for God to help me.  I just repeated that I did not need bread.

<Deuteronomy 8:3)

I felt like I was not in control as I drove Gideon and I to school that morning.  But I continued to keep my focus on God and praise him for carrying me through this journey and revealing so much.  After getting to school time seemed to quicken, and thank goodness Wendy was able to teach class to 2nd hour.  Before I realized it, it was time for lunch.  11:05.    It has been three days since I had physical food.  I drank only water and coffee for three days.    Part of me thought I could go longer and was thinking of trying to do a week fast when I was not running or teaching (where I could rest more and truly focus on things outside of our lives).    I went to the teachers lounge and enjoyed my green smoothie and banana oatmeal pancakes, feeling extremely full physically but most importantly spiritually.


---> I am pretty sure I am married to a brilliant man, Jeremiah <--- but at one point he shared that we learn more through our greatest struggles.  So what did I learn and achieve through this personal journey of fasting?

* I learned that when I lean into God he will guide me.
* I learned that I can hear God when I stop and listen.
* I learned that I have self-control in not eating and soon self-control in my words and attitude.
* I learned that I do not have to have food to live.
* I learned that our lives our full with schedules and things - BUT our lives should be filled by Him.

I am a mom who tried fasting for three days.

PS: for those of your wondering about my health.  In those 3 days I went from 195 to 188.5.   However, by the end of the week (today) I was back to 194.  I did not do this fast to loose weight.  I did this fast to gain faith.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

I tried - making others happy {life adventures}

As always - ignore all typos. 

I apologize for the delay in posts.  As usual, school hits, my posts tend to dwindle.  But I always am thinking of what to write.   

I want to write for working moms.  I want to write about meal planning. I want to write about friendship. I want to write about happiness and then grief. I want to write about our society, the sadness and the joy. I want to write about how blessed I am, even though we live "below poverty" (thanks Ruby Payne).  I want to share my story of depression and how God changed my heart.  I want to write about pain, confusion, insecurities, and injustice. I want to write about topics that are heated debates. 

I want to write. 

I tried making others happy.  And I learned I can't. 

What is happiness?  Seriously? What is glee or joy? 

To me happiness is one of those cheesy quotes you find on google images. Like this one:

You find all sorts of motivational ideas of happiness. Honestly - these are great to post when you are unhappy and you passively aggressively want others to know you are unhappy, without you telling them.  

Happiness is a journey. It's an adventure. 

So. 

I tried to make others happy. I was a doormat.  I built walls around myself to those I didn't trust; and because I didn't let them in, they weren't happy and I lost that relationship - thinking "stinks for them, I am so terrific"

I was so naive.  

I had happiness so backwards. Inside out.  I had everything.  I mean EVERYTHING WRONG.  

It has taken 28 years to learn:
1) happiness is on a continuum. It fluctuates and carries differently from person to person. And as humans we do our best to sympathize and empathize.  But typically we fall short. One of humans beautiful diversities.  

2)If you are not happy, if your heart is not filled or even transforming it is difficult to make others happy.  So you will end up getting hurt (difficult cycle).   

3) if you are trying to make other people happy, you are looking at it wrong.  We can't make other people's continuum change - their outlook, is from their perspective.  However, we can serve them.  We can LOVE THEM.  That pleases God.   We should not be making them happy. We should be serving them.  

4) Some people, and I was one of them once, believed that if they are hurting - so should those around them.    At times, it was a cry for help. It was pleads for someone to make me happy. But - people can not move someone else's continuum.  You are in control of your happiness.  ***** will state that our bodies have chemicals and that sometimes our bodies are so out of balance it requires medication or holistic approaches to help people learn how to make the choice. 

5) despite all efforts - some people will always think of you at one stage.   No matter what personal growth you have - they, for some reason, will not acknowledge the slightest bit of change and development.  

6) it's hard, time consuming, and impossible to make everyone happy. 
Seriously - people will agree with you. Others will disagree. Some like to project their own pain on to others. It is not your job. 

7) or 8) I've lost count ;) 
Your happiness should come first. We are to serve and love people. However, it is difficult to help others when we are hurting.   YES WE ARE ALL BROKEN. YES, we can cry. YES, all have great days and not so great.  But not taking care of yourself can end up hurting others in the long run. **see below 


Today is suicide awareness.   Having had lost family and even a student to such horrific acts. It breaks my heart to think that people struggle so much that they believe the only solution is taking their lives.  It is okay to admit you need help. It is okay to share your struggles. It is not okay to leave people behind asking questions that you can no longer answer. 


I have made people upset over the years, for I was trying to learn how to cope with my own inadequate and unhappiness without sharing it.  This is a journey. 

I tried making others happy. And it doesn't work.   And I am okay with that.  I want to please God by loving people.  But I know, we are all humans and interpret and perceive differently.  I can't make anyone happy. I can't make everyone happy. I tried. I failed. And I happy to admit that. 




Sunday, August 23, 2015

I tried - saving money {diapers}

First - as usual - I am on my phone.  So any major spelling/grammatical errors are probably my fault but let's just say it's the phone.  

Soren is two months old today!  

He's is doing great!  I am trying not to be emotional, but if I said I wasn't, it would be a lie.   With Gideon I got almost 6 months being at home with him.  Not 5.5 weeks. But he is so loved; not just by me but by Gideon, daddy, grandparents, friends, family, community, and coworkers.   He is a pretty good sleeper at night (jinxing myself) with only waking up once, if that. He is still learning how to be friends with naps.  His best friend - other than his brother - are ceiling fans.   It's cute.  

Anyyyyy wayyyy ... In the last two months we have changed a lot.  A lot of diapers!   Some yellow.  Some neon green.  Some off daddy at a baseball game and some out of the bath.   He's been changed in laps, on an airplane, back of vans, and pretty much any where.  A lot of diapers. 

But before we started changing diapers I started buying. 

When we first found out our blessing I started to debate between cloth and disposable.  This blog is not to say which is better or to start any mommy wars. I am just sharing how my family saved money doing what was best for us. 

Because Soren might be our last, my mom watches him full time four days a week, I do all of our laundry once a week (that's for another post on homemade laundry detergent) and don't care to do more, we decided to go with disposable.  

I have several friends who have had great success with cloth, and I do support the fact that in the long run they can be sold back for a bit of money back.  But if you are wanting cloth info - this is not the blog for you. 

My average, for my stockpile size 1 -3 is $0.115 that's less than 12 cents a diaper.   Pampers can run as high as 33 cents a diaper!!!! 

With Gideon we had about 6 months of diapers given to us. And then luckily we switched to walmarts brand - parents choice - and only had to buy a case a month for the next two years.  Gideon was potties trained at 2.25 years.    

In March I started researching diaper stock piling and coupons.  Having never couponed before, I was up for the challenge.  

I decided on my buying range and stuck with it.   In the picture below you have what I paid for in size three, my total pile size 1-3, what I believe i need based off other parents, followed by the buying range.  


Based off of other parents I am only about 500 shy of a years worth of diapers.  And based my on my numbers that's a years worth of diapers for roughly $325.   Not the couple thousands other sites make you believe.  

Now as baby grows diapers get more expensive.  However, you tend to use less.  Soren sleeps through the night and we are down to 5-7 diaper changes a day.  Give or take.  That's only about 2555 diapers a year (less than other parents claim to use).   

So.  

How do I do it? 

My phone number and my husbands phone number.   

---> I HAVE YET TO CUT OUT A COUPON <--- 

I started with walgreens. I have their app.   You can look at their add, "clip" digital coupons, and save up reward points.   I was doing pretty good with them - BUT I was mainly buying their store brand - well beings.   

I then discovered dollar general had an app.   Although very similar to walgreens (except no rewards) they had better starting prices, making "clipped" digital coupons go further.   I started buying Huggies and pampers from DG.   

NOW, we are very fortunate in the fact that Soren doesn't break out or leak out of any particular brand.  I personally don't care, as long as he is clean and happy.    If you have to have a particular brand, stock piling might be more difficult.    

****side tip - any diapers opened at the hospital have to go home with you.  So take them.  They are yours!**** 

Here are my starting prices.  Meaning I have researched and these are the typical non-sale prices at the store.   Now be careful, not all sizes have the same numbered packaged.   

As you can see, walgreens is expensive. Even the off brand is pricier than huggies.

ITS LIKE HUNTING. YOU MUSR WAIT FOR YOUR PREY.  ok, another lame metaphor. But seriously, don't just buy to buy.   Hint the name says stock pile - so you are ready, not rushing.  

So here is a sample of one of my buys.  

Dollar general does $5 off $25 (after other coupons).  But they also do, usually week days, $2 off $10 - which if you don't need anything else, a better buy so you aren't spending extra money on pointless items.   


If you pair that with a receipt coupon 


And a digital (what you see in the paper that you didn't buy) manufactur (the brand) coupon. 

Or wait for a sale on the item. 


You can start saving money.    


Now.  

You have to play by the stores rules.  So make sure you know them.  Or ask when you go in.     

Other great deals and hints. 

Target - they will give you gift cards when you buy two cases. If you time it right with their digital coupons and cart wheel you can get a good buy.  Also, if you put them on your registry, use a registry 15% off and a 5% off red card you can get a super buy.  

Notice my comment on my start prices that eventually a box at Walmart becomes the best buy.   But if your child is sensitive to different brands - then you might have to buy bigger sizes longer. 

Don't buy too many size 2.   The overlap with 1 and 3 only misses about 2-4 pounds between each other.  However, you get more diapers with two - so buy them longer.  

Don't open them!!!!  If you find an allergy or your child is a different size, you can take them back or at least exchange them for a bigger size.  Or you can always find a good home for them.  

Brand points.  Because I am buying huggies and pampers, each package comes with a code.   Every so often I will log in and update a bunch of codes for points.   

So. That's how I am saving our one income four person family money.   

Tell me about your success? Do you have any questions.  

Ok. It's bed time. Good night. 







Saturday, August 15, 2015

I tried - to cheat {my weight loss journey}

Your body doesn't lie.  It's that simple.

I had a c-section June 23rd to have our second son, Soren (he was breached).   I was told to take it easy.  Did I?  Probably not.  I was told to wait six weeks before  doing anything rigorous.  Did I?  Not really.

I am hyper competitive, and even  more so when it comes to myself.  Although I try at a lot of things, I also strive to be the best.  Best me to be a better wife.  Best me to be a better mom.  Best me to be a better... daughter, sister, friend, co-worker, teacher, writer, organizer, person.

(The coffee mug Jeremiah got me at Kennedy Space Center  <3)

You can't be the best when you cheat.

Believe me.  I've tried cheating.  

Yup.  I've tried cheating myself out of being the best me. But your body doesn't lie.

After I had Soren I kept lying and telling myself that I was being healthy.  I was lying and kept telling myself that one donut was okay; or that I could skip out on my walk.   I did initially have to take it easy to heal after the major surgery.  And I did lose about 25 pounds after having him.  But for gaining about 55/60 pounds - and starting the pregnancy over weight - I had MORE to lose!

I was getting frustrated.  But it was my own fault.  I was cheating and my body wasn't going to lie for me.  We went on vacation (and let me tell you... swim suits don't hide anything! ... all truth, for all to see).  I really wanted to go up to strangers and tell them "It's okay, I just had a c-section 4 weeks ago."  but I didn't.  ---> IT'S HARD NOT TO CHEAT ON VACATION  <---  

We got home from the beach and I knew I needed to get serious.  Get competitive.  Stop cheating myself out of being healthy for me and my family.

August 1st, I started my healthy weight loss journey.  I weighed in at 209/210 pounds.  That's a lot for my short little self.  Saturday's have become my official weigh in days.    Last Saturday I weighed in at around 206.5/207.  I was happy to see progress and it kept me motivated for this past week.

I know I shouldn't boast, but I AM proud.  Last week I went back to teaching.  I passed up donuts several times, chocolate, brownies, and even mac and cheese for Gideon.

But, I didn't cheat. I kept my eating choices healthy.  I made sure to eat breakfast (see below).  And I tried to be active.  And by not cheating, I was successful!

This morning when I weighed in, the digital numbers stopped around 201.5/202.5!  

I stopped cheating, changed the way I ate, and started moving more (on week two of couch to 5K) and IT. PAYED. OFF!    Seeing those smaller numbers really does keep me motivated.  My goal next week is to get to 199.   Hold me accountable.

The journey is slow, but totally worth it.

My Healthy Breakfast
(It's fast, so you feel like it's a cheat) 
(The cooked egg part of my breakfast sandwiches)

I am not a morning person.  No where close to being a morning person.  And honestly, not something I am trying to change right now.   So breakfast was something I use to skip.  Healthy stuff took to much time.

I've been eating breakfast bagels.

In a silicone muffin pan I crack an egg in each hole.
I add chopped tomatoes and frozen/chopped spinach.
I mix it up int he muffin cup.
Top it off with a little salt and pepper (I also put red chili flakes on top for some spice).
Bake at 425* for about 20 minutes.

Then in the morning when I am in a rush.  I take out one of the eggs (80 calories) of the fridge with a mini-wheat bagel (110 calories)  and a slice of pepper-jack cheese (80 calories).  Warm it in the microwave for 30 seconds.  And BAM you have a healthy delicious breakfast sandwich for about 270-280 calories!


Don't eat the same thing every day though, it not only gets boring, but it's not great on your metabolism either.    Today I also made oatmeal-banana pancakes.  They were pretty good and will have to tell you later how I use those for quick breakfasts.



For humor - because smiling is important too!  

How have you improved your eating this week?   Are you moving more?  

Sunday, August 9, 2015

I tried - being alone {transtitions}

I tried - being alone. 

This blog is all about my struggles and just my thoughts.  I have always been a writer (online since I was 12), just not a very good one.  Lately, I have come out of my shell and started sharing my posts with other social media places...because I am not alone. 

As much as I like being alone, I know it's not healthy or helpful. 

I am not alone and need to share my story/ies.  Everyone has a story, and it's important.  We have to listen to each other's stories in order to grow as individuals and as groups.  I started sharing my posts not to see how many readers I could get, but because I realized, that as a person my story was important.  I also realize that by sharing my stories I might be able to reach a person who needs to hear that they aren't alone either.


Growing up I liked being alone.  But it was a struggle for I also wanted to be like my friends.  I remember writing a lot about how I felt like a stranger looking in. I could easily feel alone in a crowded room.  I was the president of my high school for several years, always sat at different tables, I knew pretty much everyone in my school.  I am not trying to brag, just stating a point.  I liked hearing people's stories, and honestly, I didn't really know who or what my identity was and was searching for it via different stereotypes, cliques, or groups.  But even at these different social events and levels of popularity I still felt different - like I didn't belong.  

I was always at peace by a river or in the woods, alone.   It was nice.  I could let my thoughts flow away with the water.  I could hear God speaking so clearly (even though I am really bad at obeying).  I found joy and curiosity in all things growing and still do #favoritenumbernotanumber.  Phi! God's number.  I liked not having anxiety over what I said, how I dressed, who I was with.    Being alone with nature releases a lot of pressure. It was nice!





I am no longer 12, or even 22, to be content with being alone.  My identity is no longer founded in what party I was at or which table of people I ate 3rd lunch with or which after school activity I did (all of them).   I've learned that my identity is NOT my weight, my looks, my inadequacies, my skills, my humor, my family or friends, my short comings, even my sin  (we all have it).  I am slowly believing that my identity is found in Jesus.  Over a year ago, our retired preacher's wife talked at a women's rally about our identity being found in Jesus.  Even though I always claimed to be a Christian, her speech was very impactful and has encouraged me to embrace and grow with the truth that my identity is found in Him.  I know that some of my friends who read my article about breastfeeding or Florida trips might stop reading at this point because I keep talking about Jesus.   But here's the deal.  I have a story, and HE is a HUGE part of it ---> THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF MY STORY <---





I tried being alone, and still need my alone time (with God) so I can reenergize (I love people, but I need to recharge to be better around them).    But I now know that I am not alone!    I am excited to embrace this more and other transitions.


We are starting a new sermon series at church next Sunday to help with transitions.  We are going to follow the sermon studies also with our small group (AKA life group, home group, community group).    I am excited for all of this!  Our small group is growing, not just with families, but with babies...woot!!   Our own personal family is going to be going through a lot of transitions as well. 


With all the of the change my husband is encouraging me and challenging me to become a better me.  To make my story more about Jesus.  Because I like being alone and struggle with trusting or being around people I keep finding excuses to avoid some of the transitions in our lives.  I am very thankful to be married to a man who doesn't back down from something that is good.  

The biggest transition also starts tomorrow.  The reason this topic popped into my head.   Going back to school.  I was talking to one of my dearest friends about the strange feeling of joy and sadness that I get around August/September.  It really is strange.  FALL = MY FAV!   I love everything about fall, but at the same time I also feel like I am loosing something.  So this time of year is always interesting for me. 


Here are my transitions that I am going to have to face and continue to work through.  If you have any tips to help me make these transitions smoother... please let me know.  If anything, just pray that I can make changes as smoothly as possible. 


Mentor - I have been, for a couple of years, looking for a mentor. It's a hard transition to meet with someone that you don't really know you and build that relationship.   But I know I need this woman in my life, I just need to stop making excuses.... ask Jeremiah, I am really good at finding reasons why it's not the right time.  Ever since I was a kid, feeling different in all my sub groups, it is very hard for me to trust people.  Usually because of my lack of trust I end up pushing them away and hermitting back into my shell.  But I can't do that.  It's not healthy being alone.


Community group -  I am working at building relationships with these families and not pushing them away to be alone and opening our house to them.... even if it's not clean enough to my standards (why sweep.. hehehe).  But we are also transitioning into varies stages of our own lives. 


Teaching - the biggest transition that I am looking at right now.... in 8 hours the new year is starting for me.  New students to love on (and not be mean, like I was last year.... I have high expectations).  the students will also have technology!  I will also be teaching one advanced class.  There is a lot of new coming quickly and this year I do not feel as prepared as I have been in the past. 




Family - not only do we have an almost 7 week old who is transitioning into a good sleeper. Jeremiah is not only going to be taking a full semester but will be interning at our church.  I am so excited for this opportunity to grow and learn, but I am embrace the business of it as well.  Gideon will also be starting preschool; which will add a new level to our daily schedules as well. 


Health - transitioning into making healthy choices.  I love Jeremiah, but he is always tempting me with food.   Okay, he's not hanging food in front of me.  But it's hard to turn down certain restaurants, ice cream, donuts.  Even today he took Gideon to get donuts.  I am proud to say of that dozen, I have ate.....zero!!    But transitioning back into being a runner and being patient with my weight loss journey is going to take a lot of time. 




SOOOOO..... here I am, no longer alone.   If I start to get crabby (as my sister puts it, it's probably because I am tried and don't take anything I say to heart when I am tired or really ever) allow me some time with nature and we will be good to go.  Okay, I should have been in bed 2 hours ago.  But who am I kidding, I wouldn't sleep I would stay up thinking about my non-decorated classroom, procedures, and lessons all night. 

Transitions or Change... they are good.   Hold me accountable. 

Good night. 

Saturday, August 8, 2015

I tried - sleeping {apologies and forgiveness}

God does amazing things.   At a time when I can't sleep - so I can be with him in the quietness of my home, he does exactly what I ask.  Because I have been told it (not sleeping) is the spirit convicting us (which I agree with).



I wrote, on my phone, a blog post about why I write (my form of prayer, it's how I digest events and thoughts since I was 12, not to mention I can type faster than I can write). I wrote this elaborate post asking for forgiveness and apologizing for all the hurt I have caused in the past and most recently.   I was reflecting on Colossians 3: 1-2 and Matthew Wests song "forgiveness" (yes that is the combination of material I was given to reflect/study on).  

It was a long post.  

I went to look up something else in my phone and came back to the blogger app for my post to be washed away.  White as snow. As if I never wrote it.   

At first I was a little upset. All that time my thumb pecked at the screen. But then I realized it was God giving me another chance reminding me....

It could be the lack of sleep making this seem way more interesting/cool.  But it's what God gave to me.   

HE FORGIVES ME. 

HE LOVES ME. 

HE MAKES ALL THINGS NEW.  

He washed and made me clean. He erased my hurt and filled it with him. I have to ask for that frequently.  He started to have me write something new. 

So as I find peace settle in and anger lift up from me.  I need to state this: 

1) I know more than likely you (all of you, and you know who you are) won't read this. But like my post, I need to state it. I am sorry. I am sorry for all of the hurtful things I've said. I am sorry for all the quick tongued, bitter, and and sharp words I slaughtered you with. You have to believe me that I plead for your forgiveness.  I am sorry for what I have lost and what could have been. I am sorry for putting my husband in difficult positions.  I am sorry for always finding blame and justification in other ways.   You don't have to forgive me now or ever just know that your lives impacted my life forever.   It has changed my story and my path.   I am sorry from the bottom of my heart. 

2) I forgive you (even though there is a small percentage you will see this).  I forgive all of you.  I forgive those who have abandoned relationships (a learning opportunity).  I forgive all of you who took from my grace.  I forgive every person who has hurt me physically, mentally, emotionally.  Like in the song, God forgives me.   Without these situations in my life I would not be who I am. I would not have the passion that I do.  I would not have the walls of fear to tear down and learn what trust is. I would not have been able to know what true love and grace are.  I must forgive for I have been forgiven. 

3) to my husband (who I will make sure to have read this, probably as I snore beside him). First, I forgive you. I know I have told you that...but now the internet knows :)  at times it is hard (this past summer, the anniversary time) and I struggle.  But even though I won't fully understand that year, I want you to know it is our past. Not our future.   Also, I am sorry.  I am sorry for dragging you in and out of my messes. I am sorry for the friendships you have lost because of me or some stupid thing I said or done.  I am sorry for any hurt I have caused you.  And thank you. Thank you for forgiveness. Thank you for loving me.  Thank you for becoming a Christian and helping me to draw nearer and educate myself more. I am no where near the wife I would like to be for you - but we have time. ;) I am proud of you. I can not say it enough.  You are a terrific husband by challenging me, holding up mirrors to see my true reflections, but loving me just the same.  Watching you parent our children is beautiful. You are a dad of love.  

4) God - thank you for Grace, Love, Hope. I set out to write about why I write to you, but my words were not worthy.  For you knew the truth. Thank you for making me new and clearing my thoughts away, literally.  I know I will never understand your power and the line you have drawn for me.  But thank you for peace. I know that I may never be forgiven by people but I have been forgiven by you.   As I pray daily; for you to help me show Jesus to those around me and that I can focus on you above.   Help me to always be reflecting on James 1: 19 - 21.    Slow to speak, bridle my tongue and to love.  I am sorry for those who I have hurt, I can not promise that it will never happen again for I am not perfect and people perceive differently so I ask for forgiveness for the future.  I pray that through you I will not hurt again, but to be humble, careful, loving, slow to speak and serve with a pure heart. I am a fool God. I need your word, wisdom, guidance. 


I AM SORRY.  

I AM FORGIVEN. 



***side notes 
I also want to apologize, as I do for several posts, for my grammar and errors.   

Also note I always write for me.  I am not seeking people to tell me anything.  I write as a way to give my brain a rest and talk with God.   If anything I ever write is helpful to someone that is great, but this blog as always, and will always be for my thoughts. 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

I tried - eating healthy

So I am on a weight loss journey.   A lifestyle change. #willlose60

I want to be healthy not just for myself but for my family and as a reflection of my spiritual journey as well.  

Last summer some girls and I read through "Made to Crave" by Lysa Terkeurst.  She reflected a lot on what we eat is more of what we are missing.  From her book: 
"But we must realize God created us to crave more of him. Many of us have misplaced that craving by overindulging in physical pleasures instead of lasting spiritual satisfaction. If you are struggling with unhealthy eating habits, you can break the “I’ll start again Monday” cycle, and start feeling good about yourself today."

This week I have been working out more and eating better.  I wanted to share a new treat!  

Frozen yogurt bites.   

I used a 1/4 cup and measured out yogurt into cupcake liners.  *note to self - use metal or the latex ones.  Paper has to be peeled very carefully.  

Each of these treats is only 50 calories.  I get my ice cream fix and feel spoiled at the same time. 

They are easy to fix. Quick to grab.  Already portioned control. 

What are some of your healthy snacks or meals.  What do you crave over Jesus?