Monday, November 30, 2015
I remember a time when you just picked up the phone and made a doctor's appointment. Now a days, they want to verify insurance before you can even schedule an appointment, or they want a form filled out online to wait for the scheduler to call you back. I'm trying to make a follow-up appointment for me...I tried a couple of weeks ago, but realized the other day that nobody had ever called me back. I just filled out the form and am now awaiting the call back. I am trying to schedule an ENT appointment for my poor husband who has always suffered from allergies, but nothing seems to be helping lately and it's only gotten worse, and my little Melina has a hoarse voice and the speech pathologist wanted her to be checked out by an ENT to determine the cause. I told her it's been that way ever since she was born, but I said something to the pediatrician about it as my oldest daughter's voice is that way and I have an aunt that way too and he said it's not an emergency, but probably should be looked into. So, I guess I need to schedule it. The kids are all due home from school in a few minutes and I usually refuse to take phone calls after school because of the level of craziness in here, but I am now awaiting 3 phone calls to find out if and when the office can see us. Makes me a bit anxious. I'd much rather schedule these things during the day when my kids are at school. Sounds silly right to worry over when they are going to call back? Yes, I know...I'm a bit nutty. I just wish things were a bit simpler sometimes. This Mom likes simple.
Sunday, November 29, 2015
What is an Advent wreath? This picture describes a little more about it?
Vermonth Christmas Candle Ring
Now to figure out which one I want to buy...I just wanted something to simple to use with the kids for now. I think if I got the beautiful wreath ones the cats and the kids would have it all chewed up. I really love this one!
If you have one, post a link so that I can see. I think they are beautiful!
Oh, and if you need a recommendation for a movie to go see...we took the kids on Black Friday to go see The Peanuts Movie. I loved the message and I loved the movie and it was just so cute. My kids totally loved it too as did my husband. The Good Dinosaur is next on our list.
How are you making your Sunday a day of rest?
Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Shopkins ice cream truck! Hoping to find it in stock at a good deal on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. I'm surprised my older girls never got obsessed with these. But, my kindergartener totally wants them now! Wish me luck in finding them!
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Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Grab some coffee or some tea and let's discuss Own Your Life chapter 8 on cultivating the practices that deepen your faith. Owning the spiritual disciplines. I really loved how God spoke through her son during that storm and how it was a Bible verse that Sally had taught him and it benefitted them all. I need to work on memorizing scripture with my kids. I just need to be more spiritual disciplined to do it. That was very powerful for me this morning.
"When we spend lots of time with Him, He rubs off on us and we start looking a lot more like Him." My prayer request is that my husband and my kids start to desire Him more. I think we'd have a lot less arguing between siblings and trying to get one another in trouble constantly if we spent more time with Jesus. We do morning time together to start the day with God, but I'm trying to encourage them to read their Bibles for just 5 minutes a day...it's going to be a process...again it's that spiritual discipline.
"We must make an investment of time and effort if we want to experience His blessing, favor, wisdom, comfort, and pleasure. We cannot develop a spiritually strong life apart from Him." I see how much this is true from my own experiences, yet I fall short sometimes. I need to really remember to be in prayer constantly and seek Him for everything first. I think about how many times I just make decisions without thinking and realize that I should have given it to God first. It's all about His will for me...not my own will.
"God does not want us to meet with Him to make our lives busier. Instead, He longs to live in authentic relationship with us." I love that quote and I know it deep down, but again it's a powerful reminder. We spend time with our families, friends, the people that we want to be around. God needs to come first and we need to be spending time in His word to hear him speaking to us. We need to set aside that time as He is, and should be, the most important person in our day. I'm good about doing that sometimes more than others....again I need to be doing it daily.
"Over 500 verses in the Bible are given to prayer, which illustrates how much God values conversation with us." Wow...I know so many times people think that their prayers are stupid are too short or too long...I really don't think that God cares about any of that...He just wants us to seek Him and trust that He is working on our prayer requests. I also loved her description of all that the Word of God was in our life.
"No matter our age, women who live with no margins will eventually come to emotional, mental, and physical harm" We need to be resting on the Sabbath. With 5 kids, we are constantly going somewhere. With 3 of them with special needs, we are constantly at the doctor or counseling or therapy as well. It's exhausting. For years now, I've constantly been on the go. My youngest went off to kindergarten this year and I have been relishing the quiet. It truly has been reminding me that we do need to rest. God does have our best interests at heart by encouraging the Sabbath to be a day of rest. I've been on the backburner for so long now that I have a bunch of stuff going on with me that needs to get sorted out. I'm overweight, I have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, my knee was injured 3 years ago and I didn't have insurance that was the best so it went untreated. It wasn't until this year that I was finally able to get on hubby's insurance at work and I got the surgery 3 weeks ago to fix it. I need to go to the dentist and have dental work done as I haven't been to a dentist in over 5 years. I also need to get my vision tested as it's getting worse. It's all from pushing myself and constantly in a state of go, go, go...and putting my kids needs before my own. Sally also goes on to say "that when we are being busy, constant activity will slowly undermine our perspective on life and kill our souls." I can see that in my own life too now that I have had my own down time and quiet since the kids are all in school.
"Sometimes when we are shouldering too much responsibility, we worry and start to fret. God always seems farther away, life's pressures feel unbearable, and our reactions to people, including our loved ones, become harsh when we live in a state of constant exhaustion." I see this in my fellow trauma mamas and in some other special needs moms that I know. Some of it is our reality of what we are shouldering, but we need to be seeking God and doing self-care and getting respite to rest as well and this was just a reminder too to me of that. I know sometimes being a people pleaser, I don't always say no. I have started to put some boundaries up there too and realize that sometimes for my own sake and for my family's sake, it is ok to say no. My immediate family needs to have a mom that isn't stressed out or burned out by taking care of outside things so I am more careful to what I say yes to. It's been hard to learn for me...again I'm a people pleaser...but I realize that isn't a life God wants for me either. It is ok to say no....I can't make everyone happy. Sunday if the Lord's day and He does have his reasons for wanting us to rest...we need to be obedient and rest. We need that margin in our life.
"To find the rest we need, we must build rhythms into life that includes periods of quiet, times to stop each day." Yes, we do need that...I try to give myself a few minutes of quiet in the morning to pray, study the Bible, I'm writing this blog post now in quiet...well my kids just woke up...but mostly in quiet....I'm also learning to embrace the quiet of the day when my kids are at school...I can actually think and do for myself and not feel guilty about taking care of me. Not having that time for all these years, I can see how it truly is important to get SOME form of quiet in daily...or even savoring a nap at times. The quiet helps to bring down my stress level for sure. Jesus speaks to us in moments of quiet....we hear Him more clearly in those moments of quiet.
I know too sometimes when I am struggling in prayer, a prayer journal helps me...I used to write a different blog when my oldest was little and I used to write letters to God and see Him as just talking to a friend about my day, but it opened prayer back up to me when I was going through a dry spell. Other times I write journal syle prayers...I like to look back and see how God has truly worked in my life. He truly is amazing!
Lord, help us to seek you in prayer always, be in Your Word daily to seek Your Wisdom and guidance and to remember to rest and create that margin not only on Sundays, but also as a part to our day. Amen.
Sunday, November 22, 2015
Let's discuss Chapter 7 of Own Your Life on allowing God's Spirit to breathe in you and owning the Holy Spirit's strength through your life.
"Have you ever felt a stirring in your heart as a touching story brought tears to your eyes or as you heard a soaring symphony...something inside of you quickened, and for a moment, some heavenly beauty connected your inner self with the divine. These are remnants and reminders of the perfect world God designed for us to live in--the shadow of places He longs to take us to, the reality of the other world He's preparing for us." I've learned to recognize that feeling and it usually makes me very teary-eyed in joy...I love the way the Holy Spirit grips us like that.
"Too many believers experience the Christian life as a work to be done, a duty to perform, a list of things to be checked off. Yet our works always fall short." I felt so much conviction when I read that as I'm usually griping about doing the same things over and over again. I'm learning that even our works can be offered as prayer and that I need to learn to do them joyously onto the Lord.
I loved her birthday example for her children as how she chose to validate their worth and show them her love, which is not dependant on their behavior. It reminded me of something I was just talking to my husband about with how awesome God is with how easily he forgives and blesses us with so much, even though we don't deserve it...He gives us SO much and SO much is just taken for granted or overlooked.
"Christians cannot flourish apart from making God's Spirit the source of their spiritual lives." I love that...He works in us and I truly believe that our works that we do is a sign of what is going on inside of us. We are nothing without Him! "When the Holy Spirit directs our course, the natural consequence is a life outside of normal striving or fleshly effort. We are able to live beyond our own capacity." Thank you, Sally, for that lovely description...love how the Holy Spirit grows and extends us.
"When Christ lives in us, there will be a similar manifestation of His supernatural life pulsing through us." That makes me smile in awe. How awesome! "Whenever Jesus lives through someone, the attributes of God's personality are clearly expressed and experienced." My smile just got bigger. What an awesome God we serve!
"When we walk in the Spirit, we are moved to think what Jesus would think and to do what Jesus would do.." That made me think of the bracelets that were popular when I was younger....the What Would Jesus Do? bracelets.
"As God's Spirit works in our lives, we will be progressively more reflective of all He is." I love that as I know I have so many areas that I need to improve and remember to constantly be in prayer about and trusting that He is working on instead of trying to do it in my own strength. I just need to pray and give everything to Him all day and work on my response to Him.
Lord, we need You so much in our every day life. Help us to allow the Holy Spirit to work in our hearts and with how we respond to things in life. Help us to respond in obedience to You with the right attitudes and in total obedience. Help us to leave our worries and our trials in Your Hands and trust that You are at work for us. Let us be willing to receive the rest that only You can give us and rest in You. May Your Will be done in our life, and not our own. Amen.
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Friday, November 20, 2015
I am a strong believer in backing up what you say with your actions. Your words need to mean something when you say them. There shouldn't be any doubt of meaning what you say. My Grandfather has only said the words "I love you" to me about 3 times...when my Mom died, when his Mom died, and when my Grandmother (his wife) died. However, I never doubt for one minute that he loves me even though he's not one to say it. His actions have always made it known to me....He's the perfect example to me of this Bible verse and even when I've heard "Your actions speak louder than your words." It's also something I've found saying to my children a lot lately. I'm going to chose to work on my own love walk. I'm a person that enjoys doing things for others anyway, but I want to make sure that I am intentionally doing it on a daily basis with every member of my immediate family. I've kinda fallen off the bandwagon since preparing for my surgery and I need to get back on. I never want there to be any doubt that when I say "I love you" to my husband or my children...I want my actions to also back those words up. How am I going to do that?
1. I want to commit to praying for my husband and my children daily. I want to take them and place them in God's hands each and every day.
2. I want to greet them with a warm smile and a hug each morning when they come downstairs and I want to give them each a hug and kiss as they are tucked into bed.
3. I want to ask them if they need something done for them that day or if there is anything that I could do for them...or even giving them a little note to find somewhere about something that I saw that they did to let them know that Mommy does see and they make me proud when they do certain things.
4. I want to work on drawing them in and being close and loving with them when we are in the midst of temper tantrums or fit throwing to change our attitudes and make them feel like I am listening and that I do care about them and that I am just being present with them.
I will report back...will you help keep me accountable?
Thursday, November 19, 2015
Parenting children of trauma is very hard! My child came home from school yesterday and threw an absolute fit about homework and bashed a hole in their wall. A spew of negativity started to come out of their mouth directed at me. It was a hard day pain wise for me and my knee was swollen and I had just had a meltdown that I had to deal with from my kindergartener over after-school snack before I got to this fit over homework from another child and so when the negativity started towards me, it cut me to the core. I wanted to cry. I began to pray and I told myself that for every negative thing said to me, I was going to speak the truth outloud.
"You don't even care about me."
...I care about you very much or we wouldn't have adopted you.
"You just want to be mean to me."
...We all have things that we have to do that we don't necessarily like, but homework isn't an option. It's not me being mean by having you do your homework.
"You're mean and I hate you."
...I love you and God loves me.
"I broke my wall and I don't even care."
...It's going to be ok.
Several things tumbled out that really hurt and the more I tried to talk to my child, the more they screamed over me and refused to listen. However, I needed to hear the trruth and so I continued to say the truth out loud, but I said it loud enough for me to hear it. I needed to speak the truth to myself so that I didn't listen to the negative and the lies that my child was just spewing out. I prayed for my child and I woke up this morning and gave them a hug. They were excited that they are learning about compliments in social skills and the teachers are giving them compliments and they get to start giving compliments to the teachers. I told them that it would be nice if they could start giving compliments to family, especially mom and dad and that would be a nice thing to do too. They said "thank you for giving me a family." Oh what a change from what came out in the fit of rage. I needed to hear those words. I gave them a hug and said thank you as they went out to the bus. I'm going to make them a little note of thanks and leave it on their pillow with 3 things that I am thankful for them on. I'm also going to pray that we have a much more peaceful afternoon today!
And as a reminder as parents...when our kids spew negativity to us that cut us to our very core...sometimes we do need to just speak truth to ourselves. When things calm down, our kids need to have truth spoken to them too.
If you're reading and don't know what Reactive attachment disorder is...you can click on this link on RAD to learn more.
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Let's go to Chapter 6 of Own Your Life and discuss Resting in the transcendence of God and owning the mystery of His supremacy.
I loved her description of looking through the telescope at the star. "Captivated by the beauty and elegance of its splendor, I wondered at the One who had created such beauty, knowing this bit of handiwork would be unobserved by the vast majority of people throughout the ages. Still, the luminous star sparkled vibrantly as though it couldn't repress offering a refrain of worship to the Artist who had crafted it." I absolutely loved that and it really made me spot and think. He is so glorious that even the stars worship Him by sparkling and twinkling just so. It also made me stop and think that I may not be noticed at all times, but even when I'm alone or out of someone's view, how do I still sparkle and shine just for Him? That truly made me stop and reflect for a few minutes...
"mama, how can anyone see this (the shooting star) and not believe in God? that Sally's little girl asked...I wonder that so many times while looking at all that God has created...flowers, rainbows, cloud, animals...that precious little baby...God is so above what we can even imagine and Sally says "owning a sense of wonder at God's transcendence...it will inevitably increase the magnitude of our faith." It reminds me to stop and look at His wonder in creation all the more and truly appreciate all that He is...and acknowledge that He is more than I ever can understand and just appreciate that perspective that He above all else knows what is better for us and that He will work all things out for our good and that we are created for His purpose.
"What might God do through my life, in the power of the Holy Spirit, if I were willing to dream big and believe in miracles? What might He accomplish through me if I would only throw off my cloak of worry and just enjoy the beauty, dance with the invisible music, and celebrate life? I absolutely love that and want to make it a part of prayer and be open to His answer and be obedient to whatever He says. Wow!
"It's only when we see with the eyes of humble faith and bow before Him that we can hear his instructions." We need to be totally dependent on Him and oh how easy it is to forget that and I know myself that I am always trying to fix my own problems. I need to remember to stop, be still, and pray...it's not about me...it's all about Him and His will for my life and I need to be obedient to what He tells me.
I like her pointing out too of how she starts every morning with time for God. I do that sometimes, but I need to be better about doing it all of the time. I also liked her explaining how she cultivated an attitude of gratefulness as I am still working on that one among all of us here in our family. We kept gratitude journals for awhile, but we need to get back to doing that and truly being thankful over complaining as it does change your attitude. Need to work on making that a habit that truly sticks to choose joy and thankfulness.
"Plan a time when you can get away from the concrete, noise, and demands of your world. Look for a place in creation where you can rest your whole self." I know just the place and am going to see about scheduling a weekend get away for me and my husband and seeing if the Grandparents will watch the kids. Going to put that on the calendar for next year as a gift to our marriage.
Lord, I pray that You will take us away from daily pressures and demands of life to a place where we can see Your eternal beauty and the wonders of Your creation and truly see how Wonderful You are. Give us Your peace. Amen.
I took the Myer-Briggs personality test at 16personalities.com and I am an INFP. It's amazing to read about my personality and realize how spot on they are. Yes, I really am an introvert and I need quiet to recharge my batteries. I am only close friends with a few people although I truly care about everyone. Those close friends that I do have though, I must trust deeply as I go deep with them about day to day things. I don't do fluffy or fake friends and I also don't care to have others talking about me behind my back...so it's either I trust you or I don't. If I'm talking to you about personal things, you know that you're a person that I trust. It may take a little bit for me to warm up to you, but if I'm talking to you about deep things, then you will have me as a friend for life. I am very loyal and trustworthy to my friends, although I don't always have the easiest of times with making new friends as it takes a certain kind of personality to make me open up. I'm also a person who doesn't always like change. I like to dream big and I want to make a difference in the world. I am shy and sensitive and I don't always do the phone very well, but I love to email and text. I also love to read and be creative. Those are just a few things that stood out to me when I was reading my profile. But, I'd love to see what personality type you are. I think mine is pretty accurate. :-)
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
I have been hearing Jesus asking me to "feed the hungry" for awhile now. I'd like to get my family involved so my kids can see how truly fortunate they are and I'd truly like to make a difference to those that are hungry. I've been praying about a way to give back and give to the needy in our community and I've had some big dreams too of helping with missions. I want God to use me and truly make a difference in people's lives.
A few months ago, we had a visiting priest from Cross Catholic Outreach come to our church and speak to us and I left with tears in my eyes...there was that voice from God again as well "Feed the hungry." The Holy Spirit grabbed ahold of me and I heard it loud and clear. We gave some money to them on behalf of our family.
When I was praying for a way to give back and tithe some of our business profits, my Facebook feed brought me back to Cross Catholic Outreach and their Christmas catalog. I knew that God was telling me where to put our business tithes. So, a portion of our business profits will be going to Cross Catholic Outreach. and I look forward to seeing how far God takes my dreams. I'd love to participate in a big way one day. I'd love to go and personally feed His people as well. I'm leaving my BIG dreams in His hands.
I'd like to see some feedback. Do you like what you see so far on my blog? What would you like to see more of? I have some great ideas and look forward to sharing them with you. Most of all, I'd really like this blog to be a community and a place where you can come for prayer and friendship. Introduce yourself to me and share your prayer requests. :-)
Monday, November 16, 2015
Hi there! We prayed over our children last week on the attribute of "able." Did anyone have any answered prayers from last week to share? My daughter, Deidra, had some success in her journalism class from last weeks prayer. She also had a great birthday and I will continue to pray that her heart is set on fire for God all the more.
We thank you, God, for all that You are and that You are always present with us. You bring us Comfort and Your peace and we thank You for walking with us throughout the difficulties in this life.
This week, we are going to focus on the attribute of God is our comforter. The definition of comforter is one who consoles, reassures, helps and assists.
Psalm 23:4 says Even though I walk
Blessed are those who mourn,
Turn ______'s mourning into gladness, give him/her comfort and joy instead of sorrow. Jeremiah 31:13b.
This week I am going to pray for my son Josiah.
Turn Josiah's mourning into gladness, give him comfort and joy instead of sorrow. Jeremiah 31:13b.
My prayer request for this week is for Josiah as well. I pray that he will learn to have joy and contentment and thankfulness for all that he has, instead of getting angry so often over little things and letting go of the complaining and whining that happen continually as each day goes on. I pray that he will really begin to see how truly blessed he is.
If you have a specific prayer concern for your child, please leave it in the comments and I will pray with you.
School prayers: I choose to pray for Josiah's teachers as they continue to work on social skills and behaviors with him and that they keep a positive spirit.
If you have a prayer request for your school or for yourself as a mom, leave it in the comments. My prayer request for me this week is that I continue healing well from my knee surgery and that I am able to keep a positive spirit with promoting a spirit of thankfulness and contentment with my son. Amen.
Just waking up from a 3-hour nap after my physical therapy appointment. Feeling a bit groggy and hubby is making me coffee. Coffee and a book go hand in hand for me...so let's just jump in to Chapter 5 of Own Your Life and discuss looking to God as your life coach. Owning God's training.
"I knew that emotions often dictate our decisions when life becomes challenging. When that happens, we often quit. In fact, we live in an era of compromise, and we're often encouraged to take the easier route and give ourselves a break...We also lose many prime opportunities for character training....as his parent, I saw my role as helping him through his challenges, not removing them." I loved hearing that Joel won the music composition. Made my heart smile all through that example! It makes me think of something very hard that I have been called to endure in this parenting journey. Parenting children of trauma is very difficult and I need my cheerleaders of other trauma parents sometimes to speak encouragement to me or let me know that I am not alone. I keep telling myself that I am also my childrens' cheerleader and I will see them through this journey and we will not give up together.
"God had great plans in mind when He created Adam and Eve. He renews those plans for us as He redeems us. that is why He wants us to accept His training, even when it seems difficult....His discipline will yield the peaceful fruit of righteousness in our lives." "God allows difficulty in our lives to strengthen our spiritual muscles." I am so glad that God is with us through all of this, but I know it is necessary to receive that correction from God so that we can repent and turn from sin and get back on the straight and narrow road to Him. I am so glad that He walks with us through this process as it isn't always easy. Yet, I know that He truly knows what is best for me...all better than I certainly do. We must seek peace in the midst of chaos to hear His voice and He will help us to flourish and reflect Him.
Lord, help us to trust Your ways. Help us when difficulties become overwhelming to know that You are there with us. Give us grace while we take baby steps and respond to your correction. Help us to rest as You carry us through. Amen.
Sunday, November 15, 2015
My friend, Cindi, sent me the coolest recovery gift yesterday. I've seen the adult coloring books in the stores and have secretly been wanting one. I was going to put some on my Christmas list actually. I'm going to go get my own colored pencils from the store today and start coloring away. My husband was even a bit intrigued when I opened my gift and I said "maybe...just maybe...we can have a coloring date." I'll let you know if we do. :-) I'm excited and the pages are just so pretty!
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This is my little Melina. She was our unexpected blessing that we found out about shortly after finding out that we were goign to be able to adopt Emmy and Tracie. I hadn't been feeling well off and on in the middle of some meetings about Emmy and Tracie. I thought it was just stress of not fully knowing what was going to happen. I had been really tired, throwing up here and there, and in prayer about a lot of things. My father-in-law had come down to visit and we were in the car and again I felt like I was going to throw up. I asked my husband to stop for some fries thinking that if I ate something small it may help. We were on a day trip and I battled nausea off and on all day and my chest had begun to hurt. The next morning, I decided to take a pregnancy test totally expecting it to be negative. I was totally blown away when the pregnancy was positive instantly. I had no idea of how far along I could have been because I had skipped a cycle as well and that test had been negative. The dr wound up doing an ultrasound and confirmed that I was 10 weeks pregnant. Wow! Hubby and I just kept looking at each other and smiling and giggling. We were thrilled!
The weekend that Spring Break was supposed to start for my school-aged kids I started having little contractions. The nurse told me to go to the hospital and get checked out. They wound up admitting me due to high blood pressure and I also found out I had gestational diabetes again. They had just done the test in the office, but I hadn't gotten the results yet. My urine at the hospital had sugar and protein in it. :-( Anyway, my doctor was on a missions trip, so another dr in the practice came in to talk to me the next morning. Since I was only about 27-28 weeks, they said that depending on my urine tests for pre-eclampsia they may transfer me to the big hospital in Dallas and keep me there until I delivered. I was scared and I wanted to be able to get out for the girl's adoption was scheduled for a couple of weeks away. I wanted to make them a part of their forever family before baby girl arrived. Thankfully, my regular dr came back from missions and came to see me in the hospital and checked my test results and said that he felt ok letting me come home as long as I came in weekly to the office for him to monitor me. I agreed. We were able to complete the girls' adoption as well a couple of weeks later. That was an answered prayer too! At 34 weeks, I started having regular contractions again and I went in and found out my blood pressure was also back up to a level that he didn't like. They sent me to the hospital for monitoring and an hour later, he came in to let me know that they were going to keep me until I delivered. I was shocked, but wanted what was best for baby girl. They did 2 rounds of steroid shots and an amnio to check baby's lungs and determined that she was ready. The doctor said he could see that I was really needed at home and since she was ready he said that we could go ahead and deliver if I wanted or we could wait it out a little longer. I didn't want Josiah and Melina to have the same birthday, so I just asked that we wait a day so we could celebrate his birthday and they could each have their own day. She was born at 35 weeks, just like big sister, Deidra. She was 5 lbs and 12 oz. She did spend about a week in the special care nursery as she didn't have the swallow reflex down and we had to work on feeding. She did great though and came home about a week after she was born. She is such a joy to all of us!
She is very shy and has some developmental delays with speech and fine motor. I put her in preschool last year to work on talking to others more as she is SO shy that she wouldn't talk to people that she didn't know and took a LONG time to warm up to others and would hide in my arms or behind my legs. The teacher let me know that it was taking her months to talk to just a couple of students and that when we had Christmas break she regressed although she would at least answer if she was spoken to by the teacher. She had gone to Bible study with me also for 2 years at that point and wouldn't talk to the kids there or to the teachers unless it was motions with her head or anything. I got her in speech and occupational therapy in February of this year and found out that she has "selective mutism." That really began to make sense.
She started kindergarten this year and I was so nervous with how she was going to do with going full-days everyday as preschool was only twice a week. She is talking to some other students in class and she does answer her teacher. My other big concern was with her writing as I knew she was behind there. She is doing great! The OT at school gave her a pencil grip and worked with her a few times and her writing took off. She is a strong reader and is testing a couple months ahead of her class. Now to just catch her up on paper as her teacher does agree that verbally she is ahead, but on paper she is a bit behind. So proud of her though!
I meant to post about Chapter 4 the other day, but between nursing my knee and making sure all 5 of my kids were kept happy my little book study kind of took a back seat. I apologize for that. Hubby just took the kids to church, so I'll use part of my quiet time to post about my thoughts on chapter 4 of Own Your Life by Sally Clarkson. Chapter 4 is about Living with the end in mind. Owning Your Life Vision.
"As we diligently go through each day, plodding as faithfully as we can, holding together the cares of the world that seem to rest on our shoulders, we don't even know we need to hear "Well done!" Oh how that spoke to me as she tearfully received the words of affirmation that she received from her friend. Words that she didn't even realize that she needed to hear. This spoke to me as I'm not one to receive compliments a whole lot...I shyfully receive them and hurriedly say thank you or make up an excuse when I do receive them. Sometimes, I too get teary eyed. I choose to have a different mindset of my compliments that I do receive and I have contemplated writing them down in a journal as they truthfully are far and few between, but I try to receive them as if God Himself says them to me and they are even more valued when I do hear them.
"..I was reminded anew that someday all of us will be in the presence of Jesus--the One who knows us better than any human ever could. Our lives, our choices, and our actions will testify to the legacy we left in this life. We will strain to hear Christ tell us, "Well done,...enter into the joy of your master" (Matthew 25:21), because His affirmation and validation are what each of us was created to enjoy." Yes, Lord, how I long to hear that at the end of my earthly journey!
"Once we belong to Jesus, we are the stewards of His good gifts. I want to use my gifts for Him, but sometimes I wonder what my true gifts are. I remember though once praying a couple of years ago and I asked Jesus, what His gift that He had given me was and no sooner had I prayed it that I heard His whisper back..."Compassion." I am a very compassionate person and I SO want to give to others. I get so much joy out of giving.
"He has given each of us, according to our gifts and circumstances, a "talent" to use well. If we do not invest ourselves spiritually, we will incur His anger when we stand before Him someday. I want to do His will and not be passive about it. He also told me awhile back that He would not give me more of something, until I learned to appreciate what He had given me. I'll use this as another post one day, so I won't say more about it here. But, I just felt the need to touch on it a little bit. We must be grateful for all that He has given, even when those things are hard. We must respond to even those opportunities with obedience to His will for our life.
"If you dedicate yourself to taking in spiritual wisdom from Scripture, giving yourself wholly to the purposes of God, disciplining the attitudes of your heart, and stepping out in faith to show Jesus to the world, God will use you to shape history for His glory." Use me Lord...I want to give all the glory to You. So hard, but so beautiful, and I do see Your Hand in my life...in the trials and in the good...all glory and honor to You.
"Jesus has chosen you to be a picture of Him to your world too...." Oh how that little story of the little boy spoke to me. We used to be foster parents and I try so hard to teach my children of Jesus. I want my family to see Jesus when they see all that I do for them. Oh how I fall short somedays, but my little Emma said something the other day that truly spoke to my heart. She said "Mom really tries hard to teach us about Jesus and that we need to love Him." It told me that I must be doing something right as it was sticking with her. I want to be a picture of Jesus to all that I meet. Lord, I want to reflect You so badly in all that I do.
a prayer request that I have...one of my children says that they love Jesus, but do not choose to make good choices and live in obedience and it is a daily battle. When we try to teach them about Jesus, eyes are rolled and they have a very defiant spirit. It is my biggest prayer request that this child will fully come to know Jesus and live in obedience for God's will upon their life. Please be in prayer with me for my child.
Lord, please bless those of us who are reading this book and give us Your love, courage, and faith. Convict us where we need it and give us Your wisdom to figure out how to live our present lives in harmony with You and give us Your spirit each and every step of the way. Amen.
Thursday, November 12, 2015
This is my little Tracie girl. She came to our family at 23 months old. This one right here was my buddy from the get-go. She was glued to me and would cry if I even tried to go to the bathroom or to cook dinner. She didn't want me to very far from her at all for a very long time. We adopted her when she was 3 1/2 years old. She has made SO much progress.
She loves to bake and is addicted to cooking shows. She has a dream to one day own her own bakery or restaurant. I asked her one day if her bakery was going to be "Tracie's Cakes" and she loved it. She goes around telling everyone now that she is going to have a bakery called "Tracie's Cakes" one day. So be on the look-out one day...she just may have her own shop serving the best of "Tracie's Cakes." She is precious! She's a bit of a perfectionist and strives to do her best. This Momma is not a perfectionist so it's a little aggravating sometimes when she's in melt-down mode over something not being perfect, but I guess it will serve her well one day and that's why God has made her that way.
Sorry for the small delay in getting back into Own Your Life by Sally Clarkson, but I have been SO groggy from anesthesia that my thoughts haven't been all that clear and I was falling asleep at the drop of a hat. So, let's jump back in together and read Chapter 3. I may try to do another chapter later on today...we'll see how I feel. Anyway, go grab some coffee and let's get into Chapter 3 together on Listening to New Voices and owning your true identity
I love that she met a friend that truly seemed to understand her. I love it when God gives me people in my life like that. I am an introvert myself so I struggle with making friends sometimes, but I love those people that I feel immediately comfortable with and there's trust there and I just seem to open up and bubble out. I'm not that way with many people, so I liked Sally's description of how God gave her that lady to sit and talk with and that they were alike in certain ways. My heart broke for her friend though when she said that her Mom had such a negative view of her and how she still carries that around and sees herself that way.
"I never tried to be a dreamer-idealist, that's just how I came out of the womb. I loved embarking on adventures, meeting people, taking risks, and challenging the "accepted paths of life. Yet my dancing, singing, laughing soul seemed to irritate my family. I was left feeling as if I was "too much" or somehow wrong, for most people." That quote by Sally really spoke to my heart. I will admit that I get that way sometimes with members of my own family at times as things get really LOUD in here at times and my soul just can't handle it at times. But, it makes me see that I need to handle it with love and grace so that I'm not leaving anyone hurt or feeling this way.
She also really spoke to me when she said that "internal critics may point fingers of accusation at our hearts and paralyze us from moving through life with freedom and emotional health." Oh yes, how that has held true in my own life. I won't discuss it right now, but I will say that it may have taken me 30 years to process some things that have happened in my life and I gave more than one chance and I finally had to allow myself the grace of telling myself if it happened one more time, it was okay to put a "boundary" there. Needless to say, it happened again, and I had to give myself permission to close the door for awhile. I pray for them, but I had to decide that I am worth it to try to move forward in this life and that I knew my heart where the other people didn't and they were trying to keep throwing me backwards in their own grief and they were too busy trying to tell me how I should be living. So thankful to God and His guidance in those moments and He really spoke to my heart there. If I think about it too much, I tend to still get emotional about it, but for the most part, I'm just trying to move forward the best way that I can and pray that one day they will see that I had no ill intentions and that I was just trying to make the best of things that I have been dealt. I truly have just put it in God's hands...but that quote by Sally just really jumped out at me and spoke to my heart.
"Only God offers deep-down inner acceptance and approval. Only His unconditional love and acceptance will satisfy our longings. On His ways bring vibrant health." I need to write that on all the bathroom mirrors in thsi house. We all need to see this quote on a daily basis!
"Trying to live up to all the voices around you in this world will always leave you feeling inadequate." I am trying to do better with this one as a people-pleaser. I've had to really listen to my husband who is always telling me that it does not matter what others think as long as "we" are happy with how and what we are doing and that we are obeying with God calls us to do. I am so fortunate that he truly understands and sees things and that he can speak that truth to me. I am slowly improving, although sometimes I really do let others get the best of me. I am enough in Christ and I need to give myself grace where I fall short. I need Jesus every day and am so thankful that He died for me. I am enough. I don't need to feel guilty for not pleasing everyone at all times in every situation.
I absolutely loved this quote too "From God's point of view, you, too, are a princess. After all, He is a king, and if you've chosen to follow Him, He has adoopted you as His daughter. Your past is wiped away, and your future is defined by His adoption of you." That's pretty awesome, isn't it? Another quote I need to put on bathroom mirrors or bedroom doors. How beautiful and a powerful reminder!
"Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:17
Dear God, please help us tune out the negative voices in our heads and that come from others and help us really learn to look to Your Word to speak truth into our lives and to show us how You truly see us. We are redeemed by Jesus, forgiven, and cherished.
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Tuesday, November 10, 2015
This is my Emma. She came to us just after turning 3 years old. She is spunky and immediately bonded to my husband. Not so much with me at first. I'll admit that was hard, but I was happy to see that she at least bonded to my husband. She loves her Daddy! She was pretty defiant with me off and on, but would listen to him more. Nevertheless, I didn't give up. We adopted her just before she turned 5 and that is when everything started to turn around with her and I. Her Pre-K teacher said it best..."I think she just needed to know that everything that you had been telling her was the truth." She was happy to finally have her forever family and she started letting me in more and more. She doesn't trust easily and takes a while to warm up, but once she does she is very loyal. It's been hard sometimes to watch her struggle with learning and she has some social struggles. Her teachers are concerned that she doesn't maintain friendships all that easily. She has 2 friends in our neighborhood and she maintains those.
She is my little helper around the house, she loves to help clean, she likes to help cook, she likes to look after her little sister...although we are still working on "I'm the sister, not the momma." She struggles a lot with learning challenges and also has ADHD, so we are constantly advocating for her and how is best to help her. Overall she tries really hard. She loves to sing and has a beautiful voice. She was in choir last year and loved it! Maybe I can get her to sing for me on camera tomorrow and I can upload a video of her tomorrow for Veteran's Day. Love you my Emmy girl!
I took her out to eat at IHOP here in this picture. She was doing her school work, chores, reading, and homework, and helping aorund the house all without having to asked or reminded, so I thought she deserved a breakfast out with just Mom. We both enjoyed it and then went off to the bookstore to find some new books to read. So happy that she is finally starting to enjoy reading!
I will get to Chapter 3 of Own Your Life tomorrow...I must go nap again. I apologize!
God, we praise You for all that You are. We praise You that You are able to do all things and that nothing is impossible with You.
This week we are going to focus on the attribute of able. The definition of able is one who has sufficient ability and resources.
2 Corinthians 9:8 says And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
Epeshians 3:20-21 says
Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.
Isn't that beautiful how God is able to bless us abdunantly so that we will have all that we need to abound in every good work and that He can do more than what we dare to ask or imagine and that He is able to save us because He intercedes for us. How beautiful! Love that God is so good to us!
Let's take a moment to silently confess our sins....
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 (NASB)
Let's take a moment to thank God for what He has done....
n everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NASB)
I thank God for my children and that He has answered my prayers and given me 5 beautiful children and that I can see His hand working in their lives and in my own and in my husbands. He has blessed us indeed and He has seen us through lots of ups and down.
Now, I'd like to come to God in intercession for others. You can post in the comments for your prayer requests and I'll just ask that each one of us picks 1 child to share about each week for us to pray over together. We are going to take the Corinthians passage and pray scripture for our child.
May __________ know that You are able to make all grace abound to him/her, so that in all things at all times, having all that __________ needs, he/she will abound in every good work.
I am going to choose my daughter, Deidra, since it is her birthday tomorrow. May Deidra know that You are able to make all grace abound to her, so that in all things at all times, having all that Deidra needs, she will abound in every good work. Amen.
Go ahead and share your child's name in the comments and we can pray for your child too together.
Prayer requests for 1 of your children can go into the comments as well so that we can pray over our children together. I will add my prayer request here. I pray for Deidra since it is her birthday tomorrow. I pray that she will really begin to seek God more and more in her life and see that material things truly do not matter and that God is truly able to meet all of her needs. Amen.
Prayer requests for your children's teachers or school staff can also go in the comments.
May Deidra's journalism teacher know that You are able to make all grace abound to her, so that in all things at all times, having all that she needs, she will abound in every good work.
Specific school/teacher concerns: I pray for Deidra's journalism teacher and that she will let all children express their views and not be so quick to push what she only believes in the class.
Pray requests for us Mom's: I pray that I can let go of my anxiety and worry. I pray that I can truly put in in God's hands and trust in Him. May I know that You are able to make all grace abound to me, so that in all things at all times, having all that I need, I will abound in every good work.
Don't be afraid to put your pray requests in the comment section and I will be happy to lift up your prayer concerns and pray with you.
I had my knee surgery yesterday afternoon. I had some cartilage behind my knee that had broken loose from a fall I took about 3 years ago and was still causing me pain and some issues. So they took care of that and buffed and reshaped my knee cap. Learned I was a lightweight with anesthesia...came out of it and really had to focus on my breathing as I wasn't holding my oxygen stats very well. However, I eventually got with it the more and more I came out of anesthesia and they eventually let me come home.
Today, I am still fighting off the grogginess so I've only been awake for short periods of time. Apparently, my body is telling me I just need to rest. I'm getting around ok and my hubby has been taking wonderful care of me. So happy that he was able to work from home this week. He is such a blessing to me! He's a wonderful daddy too, so he's been helping with our 5 kids and was great at getting them off to school this morning as I was still not able to do much this morning, other than sign folders and do my little one's hair. Giving myself lots of grace today and just trying to rest. Just wanted to update my few readers that I do have so far. :-)
Saturday, November 7, 2015
I am going to try to put up my book post on Monday morning, but am not making any promises for Monday. I have surgery on Monday morning at 10 am. So please be in prayer for me that all goes well. It's been a little bit crazy as I was supposed to have had surgery already 2 weeks ago. However, I had an abnormal EKG at my pre-op appt that prompted a visit to the cardiologist. All came out ok and I was very much relieved. With that being said, my new surgery date is Monday.
Why do I need surgery? Oh...back in 2012 I was cleaning my house and my 2 year old was helping me. She was going around behind me with baby wipes. Do you see where this is going? Well, I turned around not knowing that she had left a baby wipe on the floor right behind me and my foot caught that baby wipe and I went a-skiing across my kitchen floor and had nothing to grab onto and I fell. I felt it pop and crack and my knee moved. I was home by myself with 4 kids as my oldest was gone at a friend's. I had to get my Mom to come over to help me as I could not move. My hubby and my father-in-law were an hour away at a storm spotter certification training. I had to figure out how to get off the floor and it was not a fun process. Finally my hubby got home to take me to the ER and they did an x-ray and said it was a sprain and that if it didn't get better in a few days to come back. Well, I couldn't drive as it's my right knee and I required a lot of help running after my kids and on the day that I was supposed to go back to the doctor we had tornadoes in the area. I finally determined I was just going to give it more and more time and it would eventually have to get better. I tried to go to the doctor about 3 months later, but found out my insurance would only cover the initial visit of injury and they wanted $1500 just for an MRI that we did not have at the time. So I gave it more and more time. I finally got better insurance in August that will cover everything I need and well, 3 1/2 years later...I'm finally getting it fixed....it needs surgery. I am looking forward to getting better and not having to baby my knee anymore. I look forward to being able to run after my kids, not having to walk so slow to avoid it hurting, and being able to get down on the floor and crawl around to clean and not have to pay for it for days afterwards. So, I just ask for prayers that all goes well Monday. It's a day surgery so I will be home later. Pray that my blood pressure cooperates as well as it goes up whenever I have doc appts and have to go in the hospital.
This is Josiah. We got Josiah as a foster baby at the age of 13 months old. He is our little whirlwind that never stops and he is always keeping us on our toes. As our first foster placement, I thought he would outgrow a lot of what he did as I just thought that it was a lack of boundaries and nobody had ever told him no or taught him how to play. This little guy could scale a room like no tomorrow. We adopted him at age 3 and he is now 9. He loves art and loves to draw and really has a talent there. I was trying to find a quick picture of some of his art as he draws in minutes and it looks fantastic. I'll have to do a post on his art by itself. So proud of him with it....I just wish sometimes that he would choose to put all the energy that he has into something productive, like his art.
Josiah struggles from reactive attachment disorder (stems not getting his needs met when he was a baby by his birthmom) and has a lot of behavior challenges that stems from that as he does not trust adults to meet his needs. He tends to get angry very easily and lots of stuff is broken around here, so we are in counseling a lot to work on issues. It's been very hard at times, but we keep on keeping on and persevering. We love him and want so very much for him. He is very bright and I really think he could go far with his art some day. So much talent!