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Monday, October 21, 2013

Frustrated but Real!

UGHHHHH! That is my "word" for today! It has been a day where NOTHING that I had planned on doing got done! NOTHING!!! I cleaned up several spills, tried to get the homeschooling done but the printer refused to do its job, I didn't get the bathrooms done,  I still need to put my laundry away, I failed at making a healthy dinner, and the list goes on. But, I did color with my little two, sat on the porch swing with the kiddos, read some lines of my daughter's play with her, cuddled with my sweet girl, laughed with my oldest son, chatted with my hubby, watched my little two climb in a tree to do their school work (got pics too), served hot dogs for dinner (kids & hubby love em), sat down and watched little videos my kids made on the ipad, and the list goes on! 
So I suppose ughh was my word for the morning. After my hubby gently reminded me that the housework can wait & the kids are trying new things & they are learning....I relaxed! I enjoyed moments with my kiddos. Moments that I wont get again.
Here is the thing. I love blogs! I enjoy reading about all the ways other moms & wives do life. Some are so scheduled and organized. I think to myself how wonderful life would be if I could be that way. Others have beautiful school rooms that I would just LOVE to have. Some bloggers have amazing food & recipes. If only I could cook gourmet meals like those....and if only my family would eat them! There are those bloggers who seem to have spotless homes. Ok if you were to walk in my home right now you would be amazed...not in a good way! I have 4 kids home with me all day! Not a museum here...a real home....lived in! Then there are the bloggers who have such convicting posts that they make me feel like I am the farthest thing from a "Super Christian".
All of these bloggers are wonderful. I really enjoy reading their work. I enjoy getting a peek into their world. BUT...I am me. God created me unique. Just like He did them. Sometimes I am more organized. Sometimes my house is spotless (if only for a moment). There are days that I make awesome healthy meals that get devoured. But those things do not always happen on the same day! That is my real word! Frustrating sometimes but definitely REAL and WONDERFUL.
Its ok that I am not perfect. No one is! But what is perfect is that I get to spend my days enjoying the moments! The dust & dishes will be there later, but my children will not be in my home forever. I have to remember to stop & spend those moments with them and in the end...I did get the kitchen cleaned & the dishes done. Not in my time but in time! 
And on the point of not getting anything done.....those cute pics I got of the kids doing their school work in the tree...the computer is refusing to let me load them on here! SO....tomorrow is a new day & God's mercies are new every morning. I look forward to seeing what He has in store, even if it is not what I have planned!  

Sunday, October 20, 2013

WALLS

Today I was blessed with an opportunity to guest post on the blog 31days of Open Hearted Living. I have recently read the book "The Wall Around Your Heart" by Mary DeMuth and so I give you my take on the wonderful book!  Follow the link to not only my review but many others as well!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Making It Beautiful in the Meantime.

It has been a little over a year since we moved into our new home. We lovingly refer to our new place as Titus Grove. When we moved in we had grand dreams of making it wonderful; starting the actual "grove" part, putting in the gardens & decorating the inside in the primitive style that we love. BUT, things do not always go as planned. Yes we got the garden in, then I started having heart issues. The garden was sick right along with me. We didn't get any of the trees in, not even ordered. We did get the foyer & hall painted, but haven't pulled the carpet off the steps yet! You should see the list of things we want to do...the list keeps getting longer but nothing really seems to get marked off.

There are a few reasons as to why we haven't moved forward with many...well most of the things on the list. Reasons like time, money, sickness etc! But one of the biggest reasons is because we wanted to do it all! If we were going to makeover a room, we were going to do it right. Start to finish it would be exactly the way we want it. So if we were going to do the living room, 1st we needed to do the ceiling, then the floors, then the painting, then all new molding & trim, oh don't forget the new light fixture & we need new seating for that room etc etc etc. Get the picture. And we had to do it in that order because of the design. Well when we realized how much it would all cost, it became overwhelming. So we didn't start it. We did the same with the main bath, need to take a wall down & get a new cabinet etc etc etc! So that was put on hold. I had it in my mind that if we couldn't do it all then it would have to wait till we could afford to do it all. I had the mindset that all those beautiful homes in the magazines and on TV shows are so wonderful, that my home had to be picture/TV perfect! RIGHT?

I also have to admit that the ugly head of jealousy has been known to pop up from time to time! Several of my friends have beautiful homes, with amazing décor & great kitchens. I am truly happy for them but I return home to my humble abode & wonder when will my home look like that?

I have been reading a book called "A Life That Says Welcome" by Karen Ehman. A fun read with lots of great tips & wonderful ideas. Come to find out (of course I really knew this deep inside) its not all about making your home perfect! As Karen says in the book ...."I believe wholeheartedly that God delights in our desire to provide a pleasant atmosphere for our family and others who will grace our home, AS LONG AS WE KEEP PROPER PERSPECTIVE."  What? Proper perspective....according to the World's standards, that perspective is all about the look! Having people desire what you have & think that your way is amazing.  Well, that's not proper or God pleasing. Karen goes on to write "Our homes by their very décor, atmosphere, and surroundings help others to forget the cares of the outside world and be refreshed by the love of the Lord."

So is my home, as it sits, that type of place? A place that exudes Gods love, mercy & grace. Is it a place; like Karen states, that when people leave they feel refreshed & not impressed? What is the motive to wanting my home beautiful? Well, I pray that it is! We do pray that God is always present here. We have a plaque in our home that says,
"Christ is the head of this home, the unseen guest at every meal, the silent listener of every conversation." And we pray that everyone who enters will feel His presence.

So now that I have my priorities back in order. Thanks Karen for the knock upside the head! We decided to YES work on our list, but make sure to put things in perspective! We are not going to go for perfect! And with that, we took on the Master bedroom.  Deciding to make it beautiful in the "meantime", beautiful in a way that is restful for us, so that in turn we can be refreshed & ready to help others. Beautiful in a way that wont break the bank (we all know we need to be good steward's of the money God has given us). And a little at a time we will work on things, but always in perspective. I say in the "meantime" because as we work through things eventually it will look the way I have it pictured in my head. Just not in the time I was hoping for. And so I need to remember a few verses that Karen points out  Philippians 4:11-13
11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
 
I will be content in the "meantime" knowing that what we really desire is to know that God is showing thru in all we have & all we do! Yes, we will make changes and make things look beautiful. There is no reason to live in an "as is" style when we can make a few changes at a time, in order for it to be beautiful in the meantime.
 
On a side note: The book is great. There is so much more about hospitality & opening your heart & home to others. It contains cleaning tips, decorating tips, recipes and more!  You can find it at Karen's website http://www.karenehman.com/
 
Also I will be posting a few before & after pics when we are finished with the room, so stay tuned!




Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Scars of the Heart.

I am back from a small blogging break! I took some time off for several reasons. One of them was I WAS TIRED. Physically tired. I found it hard to get up in the morning & wanted to take a nap during the day only to retreat to my bed by 9 or 10 at night. Needless to say, not much got done during these months, much less blogging. So today I was inspired to return. You see, today I viewed a trailer for a new book by Mary Demuth titled "The Wall Around Your Heart". A book I am really looking forward to reading. I will post the trailer below. But the book is about allowing God to break down the walls we have built up around our hearts. The walls that were there because of pain & hurt.

If you can give me a minute of your time I would like to tell you about my hurt. You see I was tired for a good reason. In late May I learned after a visit to the ER, that my heart "was talking to me" & that I "needed to figure out what it was saying. After many Doctor's appointments, tests & heart monitors, I was told that I would need to have a procedure to fix my heart. I underwent a 4 hour invasive heart procedure on August 2nd. I am doing well & praying that all is taken care of. I had no intentions of blogging about it, and I will spare you all the medical details; but after watching that trailer I was inspired to write.

I have to admit that the surgery was very painful. I dozed in & out but was not sedated for the procedure. I saw the inside of my heart on the big computer screen by the side of the table. I must admit that I didn't look at it much because the pain was all I could concentrate on. The pain & hurt was intense & my mind could not focus on anything else. Life is like that sometimes. We focus so much of our time & energy on the pain & hurts of our life that we don't take the time to look at out heart!

Now I have bruises & scars. Scars that no one can see. They are not in the center of my chest where most heart surgery scars are. No one can tell that I endured such hurt & pain. No one can look into the inside of my heart & see the burns & scars that were left behind. I can go about my life & NO ONE will ever know! We all carry scars on our heart just the same. They may not be from a physical heart procedure, but they are from pain & hurts of our past. They come from someone who misled us, emotionally damaged us, a decision we made, physical abuse, backstabbing, lies, mistrust...and on, and on the list goes. We go about our lives thinking that NO ONE KNOWS. I will put on a smile go about my life & fake it till I make it.
                             But the truth is....YOU CANT HIDE IT!
In some way those scars, that pain shows. That pain begins to steal your joy. Those scars make you hide from people that you will never get to know. That hurt stands in the way of you successfully doing God's will for your life. You may think that no one knows but
                                      GOD KNOWS. GOD SEES!

I find it interesting how quickly we run to the Doctor when we think we are having a heart problem (physically speaking...you should) but, why are we not so quick to run to the great healer with our spiritual & emotional heart problems. He is JEHOVAH RAPHA ~ THE LORD OUR HEALER. He does not just heal the physically sick & wounded, He heals the wounded, scarred, burnt, & hurting heart of ANYONE who carries the pain from their past. The Psalmist writes:
O Lord my God, I cried to You and You have healed me (Psalms 30:2).
In the book of Isaiah we read
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5)
He is the great physician and He is always on call! He wants us to live in peace. Peace from the pain of our past. He wants to heal us so that we are fully able to live for HIS GLORY.
He is able to heal the emotional & spiritual damage. He sees your scars, He knows your pain. He is there; not just for ourselves, but others as well. We need to run to Him who is able to heal. Cry out to the only one who is able to make all things new. Do not carry the scars of your heart any longer! 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

If I Only Knew....

I have been known to say....Coulda, woulda shoulda! I realize this is not proper English but it gets the point across. I stop and think about something in the past and how I should have done it different or a decision I could have made differently. I sometimes have thought what if I could have done this or that. Truth is we cant change the past!

If I had only known what a blessing homeschooling is, I would have started with my first born right off the bat. But I cant dwell on that. I must embrace the time I have with them now. The years that the Lord is willing to give me. My prayer everyday is that I am a better mom today then I was yesterday, and that He allows me to see all the blessings He has given me, and that He continues to  give me His grace & mercy to be able to teach & love on my kiddos!

If only I knew that hubby & I really would want more than 4 kids, we would not have made the decision to handle things in our own way & not fully rely on God. Instead I have to thank Him for the wonderful 4 I have & pray about what God has in store for us as parents, and what He wants for our children.

I really wish I had known that the way I was raised to eat, was not the best. Don't get me wrong...my mom did a great job of feeding us well rounded meals and not a lot of junk. But maybe they were a bit too rounded. And the pairing of foods was actually not the best for me. BUT, I have now learned and am thankful for the ladies who have opened my eyes & are teaching me now. I am down 9 pounds, almost 2 dress sizes and still going. (see previous post re: THM)

So the big one...while we are planning our Evan's Birthday party (he will be 8 ,end of the month) I think back thru the years past with all of my kiddos. Birthdays always do that to me, and I think: Have I done everything the way I shoulda, maybe I coulda been a little calmer at times, what if I woulda taken that extra minute and played a little longer? I cant get this past year back...what if?

What I do know is this...I have prayed for my kiddos without ceasing! My husband and my kids are the first ones on my prayer list. I cover them with prayers of peace, protection, mercy, guidance, joy, humbleness, self control etc. Apostle Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18  Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.(the Message) 
So for me I really need to just let God have all my coulda, woulda, shouldas, and be Thankful no matter what, and KNOW that God knows the plans He has for us and despite my past, HE is in control! 
God Bless!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Trim Healthy Mama

 
Yesterday I made mention of a new book I have been reading. That book is called "Trim Healthy Mama" written by Serene Allison & Pearl Barrett. (Apologies if I mispronounced them in the video). I decided to do a video post about it so that I could just freely tell you about it & show it to you. Please overlook the sheets, had to film in my bedroom where it was quite. I also want to thank my son Ethan who did the video work for me.

till next time, God Bless!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Well our school year is almost up. It is getting harder to stay focused when the weather is starting to warm up. The little two would live outside if I would let them. Of course they come in absolutely filthy every night. No big deal that's why we have bathtubs!

We have been pretty busy here, not just with school but with life. I am planning on making a video to show everyone what has been happening here. So hopefully that will be soon.
We all helped build the hoop-house. That was fun! My boys have been working hard building the fence around the garden. With hubby's help they are using found tree limbs in the woods as posts. We did buy the actual fencing material but it has been a great experience. We have been working the land & my boys are getting really good at digging. The boys have such a great example to follow. God has blessed our family with our hard working man to lead our family. Mr Evan, age 7; stays right by his daddy's side working his little booty off!  Ethan 14, is really turning into a wonderful young man. He is full of grand ideas & big plans. We pray that God uses him in a mighty way!

The girls have been a huge help with getting all the plants started. We have also learned how to pay closer attention to weather patterns & temperatures! Never thought I would have to do that.

My oldest daughter Ellyssa is 12. She loves to help me in the kitchen & is obsessed with baking. she even took on the task of baking & decorating her little sister Eleah's birthday cake.

Ellyssa & I also figured out how to make homemade whipped cream...we are never going back to store bought! Ellyssa is really starting to bloom in the area of homemaker. It is such a blessing to see how the Lord is opening her eyes & heart to the blessings of it all. And Miss Eleah is following right behind. She blessed me the other day by telling me "momma, I love my life"! She is very sure to let everyone know that she is going to be a mommy someday & have a big garden, & she will take care of her family because that is what a mommy does!


I have started on a journey with the help of Trim Healthy Moma. A great book that explains how to eat right, get fit & be a healthy moma. I am a week in and am down 5 lbs so far. I will be writing a post on the book next. So stay tuned!

Well I pray all is well for you & your family. And that you will have a wonderful day!

LilySlim - Weight loss