Life is funny

I’ve been going through a particularly difficult rough patch lately.  I am so honored that I have been able to give so much of myself to lots of different people over this past year, but there comes a time when you start digging from a dried up well.  There’s literally nothing left to give.  When I reach that point my temper begins to flare up, my annoyance over the little things really amps up.  I start shutting down and pushing people out because I just can’t do it anymore.

Last year around this time we were getting ready to move into our new house and we were so excited.  The possibilities seemed endless.  God has definitely brought my hubby and I out of some pretty thick muck from our past.  So this house was a breath of fresh air.  We could breathe, we could be a family, we could do what God was calling us to do.  But… there’s always a but… we have an enemy that doesn’t want us to continue our life for God and for his Kingdom.  He wants us to stay stuck.  To continue dragging our feet through the muck and mire of this world.  To feel useless, worthless, forgotten.  I have been forgetting the goodness of God and have been allowing the lies that my enemy wants me fear… to become my reality.  I have been doubting my ability as a wife and a mom.  Always thinking there is someone better out there for my family.  Someone who won’t lose their cool over trivial things.  Someone who could love my husband better than I ever could.  I begin doubting my ability at work.  I have never been a great swimmer so HOW ON EARTH am I supposed to teach little kiddos how to swim.  Those are just two of the big examples I have been fighting.  The lies that tell me I am not good enough.  The lies that tell me someone is better suited for my life.

So, I reached out to my bestie, my doctor, my husband, and my counselor.  And we have a plan.  I tend to take 3 steps forward and 2 steps back… so this is going to be a long healing process.  A long process of filling up my tank again.  I have good moments, and I have moments where I wish my tongue could be chopped off.  I say things out of fear and hurt those close to me.  I did that today to my husband before he left for work, and I hate myself for it.

BUT part of the plan to get me back has to do with blogging again and taking pictures.  I love photography and I have forgotten how much I really do enjoy it.  So every day I have to take a photograph, and I would like to share them now…

Monday: A Guilty Pleasure

IMG_2665 Who can pass up a good batch of GF Chocolate Chip Cookies?

    Tuesday:  Movement

fullsizeoutput_bd4 This one was really challenging for me.  I had to figure out how to get movement!  Thankfully we have YouTube and I was able to figure it out.  I think it turned out decent 🙂

Wednesday: Night

These photographs were really fun.  I was able to mess around with the camera and find cool angles for pictures.

Thursday: Emotion

Sometimes going to the park is the best place to get that raw emotion.  I felt bad taking pics of J and K in a tough moment, but man those pics!  I love them.

Friday: Texture

I am a touchy feely person.  When I am either out at the store or anywhere really, I have the irresistible urge to feel things.  So I loved that I got to take pictures of things that I found amazing.

I say that life is funny, because you really never know what is going to happen day to day.  One day I can feel on top of the world, and then next day come crashing down.  But I make it through life because of my constants:

  1. My faith in God.
  2. The unconditional love from my husband – even when I don’t deserve it.

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3. The way my kids warm my heart even in the darkest of times.

4. My People – you know who you are.

Thank you for walking this CRAZY journey with me.

The Storms of Life

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So, I just posted this on my FB page, but figured more than just “my friends” might need to hear this… So, here goes…

There are times when you just feel like life is falling apart and if one more thing lands anywhere in your vacinity, you are going to lose it. Christmas is always a stressful time. Missing loved ones that have passed, mourning relationships that have crumbled, stressing over the lack of funds in the checking account – while trying to figure out how you are going to make it through another month…yeah, it sucks. But I was reminded tonight, while tucking in my kids, that no matter how deep or wide the valley is that you are walking through… how dark the storm seems… God’s got this. I, Heather, will walk without fear because God’s got this. He has carried me through this and much worse so how can I doubt? All I can do now is just give it up, pray, and know that in His timing it will all work out.

Psalm 17:6-7 says, “I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God. Bend down and listen as I pray. Show me your unfailing love in wonderful ways. By your mighty power you reduce those who seek refuge from their enemies.” We have a Father in heaven that loves us so unconditionally. All we have to do is fall on our knees and pray. He never promised that life would be easy. He never said “Follow me and I will make your life perfect.” No, we are still going to face trouble and trials and adversity… and it’s in those times that our faith is tested. It’s in those times where we get to truly see where our heart is. Is it (your heart) in the overwhelming day to day of this earthly life (which I must admit – I am there some days) or is it in the hands of our loving and gracious Father that has already overcome all these heartaches?

Psalm 22 1-2 “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Why are you so far away when I groan for help? Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer. Every night you hear my voice, but I find no relief.” Even David suffered and questioned where God was, and urgently appealed to him to take away his suffering. David knew to trust God in the good, lonely, and desperate times. He knew that even though God was quiet, He WAS and IS listening. So, the good news is, through all the crap that we face in this life we will gain victory on the other side, and for THAT I cannot wait, and I will continue to endure the heartache of this world.

So, if you are still with me (my mind and fingers just won’t stop), I will leave you with the passage that started it all tonight which is Psalm 23…I’m sure you all know this passage so I’m only going to quote vs 4 “Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.” God will comfort me… He will protect me… and I just have to to let him. Will you? Will you allow God to comfort and protect you through all the crap that is thrown at you. We have an all powerful enemy that wants nothing more than to see us squirm and fail. So when you feel like there is no one else… just reach out…reach out to the one who loves you more than you can fathom. Trust that God will catch you even in those deep, dark, ugly places where you feel you can’t be touched. Trust me I have those places… My kids have seen them, my husband has seen them… it’s not pretty… but God loves me despite of my short-comings and dark places… He still loves me…and He is just waiting for you too.

Psalm 34:8 “Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in Him.”

Honesty about Celiac

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So, my world was ROCKED this past summer.  I found out that I had celiac.  I was so glad to finally have an official diagnosis as to why I have basically been sick to my stomach on and off since I was in high school!  I couldn’t wait to start this new diet and to start feeling better.  Of course in my mind, it would be an instant switch… night and day… and life would automatically be… PERFECT.  Hahahaha!

Here’s a brief synopsis of what being a Celiac is all about…

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So fun right?  So after I got over the initial honeymoon phase of my diagnosis… the “Real life” of my diet has hit me, and my family.  Because let’s be honest… there is NO WAY that I am going to cook 2 different meals every meal and risk cross contamination. Gluten hides everywhere!  And I have to learn how to really, really look at labels and how to cook… My family has been so supportive and such troopers as I basically threw out our entire kitchen to start completely over.  Making sure that all the dishes were washed, all food that was filled with death aka gluten was thrown out of the house…My kids still have a hard time some days when all the cereal I buy is Chex cereal, but they will be ok.

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 I feel like a bother to everyone now.  I know that I am not… but it just makes going anywhere so much harder.

 I went onto my friend Pinterest (not sure if you’ve heard of her..) and found a ton of funny pics on being Gluten Free.  So I hope you enjoy these as much as I did…

Everything seems to be harder, but I know that my body is getting better.  I am getting better at diagnosing when I’ve had gluten… I tend to go off the deep end, I am foggy in the brain and get a headache, my stomach kills me, I’m super nauseous, and I visit the bathroom at regular intervals (TMI??) I don’t write this for sympathy… Just for fun…and kind of for educational purposes.  Gluten free is such a fad diet right now, but there really are people out there that need it in order to survive this thing we call life!

Hope you had a laugh like I did at some of the pics, but also see that Celiac is so sucky.

A Blog Post About… Honesty…

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So, I’m taking a page from a friend of mine who also blogs.  You should check it out here!  She writes about honesty… and if you ask me I think that this world needs a whole lot more of it.  Everyone lies to everyone these days. Everyone puts on a mask to show that their life is “perfect”.  Ha!  This is so funny to me.  NO ONE has a perfect life.  But yet everyone goes around thinking that… thanks to FB and all the other social media.  It’s sad because everyone wants to be “liked” these days… but so many people miss the mark on what it means to be liked.  We aren’t liked because of how perfect our life looks… we are liked – no LOVED- because of God.  We are loved by the one who created everything, and whatever everyone else thinks shouldn’t matter.  The only thing that should matter is living in accordance to what God wants from us! But we don’t… instead we make it all about us.  All about what society things… which is why….

I have been struggling for a while with my self-image, with being a good enough wife, a good enough mom, a good enough homemaker… I FAIL at all of these things daily.  Or feel like I fail.  I have this unattainable image in my head that I THINK I need to strive for.  But it’s just a lie that my enemy wants to keep me in.  He wants to wrap me so tight in my failures that I can’t see what I am exceeding at.  I am so glad that I have people in my corner to help me stay accountable to the things I wanna fix… even though I protest most days.

One area that I struggle with almost daily is working out and eating healthy…

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Ha!  I couldn’t resist.  But honestly that’s how I feel.  Between homeschooling my three kiddos, changing up my diet because I found out I have Celiac, going to soccer, piano lessons, Awana, Bible Study, our homeschool co-op, and all weekend activities… I seriously feel I don’t have time for that.  BUT let’s be honest… how much of my “free time” is spent scrolling through FB for the millionth time, or just doing anything I can think of OTHER than working out… or how many times do I go to the store and grab a coffee or pop in those lovely little fridges they have in the check out line??  Do I really need that!?  Or am I just grabbing it because I feel entitled to having a little more caffeine in my diet.  My will-power is being held hostage to my earthly desires and I need to just say NO.  (I feel like I’m preaching what they taught in my DARE program when I was in 5th grade… just say NO!)

So, I want to use my blog more… again… as a place where I can be honest.  That’s the whole reason why I started blogging in the first place.  I wanted to be real and to have a place that I don’t care what people think.  I can just write and be me.  Show everyone that the mask I wear is false and that I struggle every single day with depression, anxiety, a nasty self-image…but then I have also have this things called redemption. I want people to know that they are NOT alone in this journey of life.  I want to challenge people to bring their short-comings to light.  Because when we hold them in the dark they only grow, and once they are brought to the light… everything can be seen.

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A Blog Post About… Rock Bottom and Redemption

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Where do I even begin?  I haven’t written in a while and that’s probably because I feel like the year 2015 was my rock bottom.  I had so much going on in my life, personally and spiritually, that it was spinning wildly out of control.  There was no end in sight to the wild spin that my life had taken on.  Thankfully, 2016 has brought about change.  Refreshing change.  Change that has needed to happen for a really long time-  I was just too afraid to take that step of faith and move toward that change.  So, let me bring you all up to speed…

2015 – Have you ever hit rock bottom?  It’s a super scary place to be.  Especially when you are a believer or a non-believer.  Especially when you are married or when you are single.  Especially when you have kids or no kids.  Especially when you have NOTHING LEFT.  Be ready for open and honest.  My marriage almost ended last year.  Bam!  There’s my rock bottom…

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So many things led up to my hubby and I almost walking out on one another.  So. Many. Things.  And in this day and age when the going gets tough people walk out.  They leave the hard stuff behind – only to walk into more hard stuff.  It’s unbelievable how fast things spun out of control, and literally before my very eyes.  People said, and still say, that I am a good and loving wife.  They saw that I was, and still am, a caring mom.  That I had a house to live in (even though it was falling apart and NOT at all where God wanted us to be anymore), and that I tried to keep it somewhat clean.  They saw what I want them to see.  They never saw the ugly. The mom that would lose it because of spilled milk.  The wife that would say things because she was hurt or annoyed.  No one saw the imperfect – the ugly.  Cause, let’s be honest, we live in a world that is full of “perfect”… social media makes sure that everyone has this unattainable expectation that they have to meet and if they don’t meet it then you are worthless.  I found myself as worthless.  I found myself as someone that I didn’t want to be around anymore.  So, if I didn’t even want to be around me… why would anyone else?

2016 – With the new year I felt like we had the ability to just scratch 2015 from existence and move on with life.

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I had a renewed sense of fight in me.  I no longer wanted to give up on my marriage, on my family.  And I knew that my hubby felt the same way. I am beyond grateful for my best friends that I trust with my life… who are praying on their knees for my marriage now and for when it was in it’s darkest hours.  It is a long battle, and it will be fought with blood, sweat, lots of tears, and more prayers than I can count.  Looking back I see that we (my hubby and I) let Satan in to do whatever he wanted.  I read something from the book Anything, by Jennie Allen.  It’s from a pastor that spoke to her and her husband.  It really resonated with me, and I would like to share it with you…

“If I was the devil, I’d tell you what I’d do.  I would try to deceive you and get you into error.  I would get you off base.  And if you still stayed true (to God and your beliefs)*, I would try to disqualify you.  I would get you immoral, I would get you where no one would believe what came out of your mouth.  I would make you a tabloid, where nobody would believe you.  I would remove your confidence until you were afraid to speak because your life was such a shamble.  I would get you into sin.  I would prowl like a roaring lion to devour you morally.

And if I couldn’t do that, I would try to make you successful.  And I would distract you if I couldn’t disqualify you.  I would get you busy.  I would get you so distracted to the gospel that no longer would your prayers be about holiness and souls.  They would only be about the bottom line in your business.  I would get you materialistic, and no longer concerned about the spiritual nature of you life.  If I couldn’t do that, I would divide you.  If I couldn’t divide you, I’ve almost lost you.  You know what I’d do then?  I’d discourage you.  And then if I couldn’t discourage you, I’d try death.  I would try my best to kill you.  That’s what I would do to take you out.” *italics are my adding* (So, was this written just for me?  This is everything I have felt!)

Take a listen to a song that explains all of this…. Music speaks to me.

The father of lies has done a number on me.  But did you hear the song?!  Even though the devil sings his song over me…he may even have his demons doing his dirty work on my heart…whispering their lies into my ear over and over again till I can’t hear anything else.  They whisper in my ear until I’m no longer talking to my God but that I am talking to the devil himself.  Having a fight with him over how terrible of a person I am.  He was doing a heck of a job at that last year and up until yesterday (If I’m being brutally honest)- when my totally awesome cousin talked, prayed, and listened to me… But the father of lies has forgotten the refrain.  The refrain that JESUS SAVES!!  I no longer have to live the lies that the devil in whispering into my ear.  I have the redemption of Jesus to save me, my marriage, and my family.  This demon that has attacked me since I was young telling me that I am worthless… no longer has it’s hold on me.  He has been kicked – well I’m in the process of kicking him – to the curb because Jesus has saved me.  I HAVE to start listening to Jesus, reading his WORD and pouring it over every aspect of my life.  It’s almost like I have Jesus on one shoulder and the devil on the other, and I was listening to the devil more.  He was louder.  I couldn’t hear the truth above the lies.  I want to take my finger and flick the devil off my shoulder and tell him he no longer has power, in Jesus name.

I am so far from where I am supposed to be in my “walk”.  But Jesus has been right where He wants me.  He wants me to struggle – because in the times of struggle that’s when you grow the most.  You reach out to those you trust and ask them to challenge you.  I want to encourage you that if you are finding yourself far from God that there’s only one thing you have to do.  You just have to reach your hand up and say I’m sorry Father, here I am.  You just have to fall on your knees and Jesus will pick you up and carry you.  He doesn’t want to see me or you as a crumpled mess on the floor trying to figure out this thing called life.  He wants us to reach out to him so he can shows us all that life is supposed to be.  No more allowing the father of lies to direct my steps and thoughts…

“It’s only God who moves my heart.  He chases me down and lures me back to him; while I am running to everyone else, he runs after me.  God brings me back to the place where it fares well with me, reminding me he is my husband.  There is no spinning, no fear, only perfect acceptance and peace.” Anything, by Jennie Allen p. 38

 

 

A blog post about… giving it all up

I’m only 7 months into being a pastor’s wife.  And I already feel like I am doing it all wrong.  Ha!  Is there a right or a wrong way to be a pastor’s wife?  I think that there’s this stereotype out there that a Pastor’s wife needs to seem put together, constantly have a smile on her face, never ever have her own issues (or if she does don’t ever bring them up), and always have the perfect amount of insight and wisdom to share… I might be able to get there one day, but there are a lot of things that have to happen on my end before I do.  We live in a time where everyone just shares the good stuff.  So it’s really hard to show the ugly side of life.  To be vulnerable and say “hey, I’m not perfect!  My life is a mess and I don’t know where to go from here.”

I tend to lean towards being an open book about my life.  God has given me this life for a reason.  He has wanted me to walk the path that I have for a reason.  I know that reason, but right now I am having the hardest time learning my lesson, and just giving it all up.  “Hi, my name is Heather, and I have MAJOR control and anxiety issues.”  I would really like to blame it on the long family history of controlling Kärsten women, but most of my issues are MY issues and no one else’s.  They are issues that for some reason I just can’t ever give up no matter how “hard” I try.  Sometimes I feel like I am one of the disciples on that fishing boat while Jesus decided to take a nap during the massive storm!  And while this storm keeps picking up strength you are so afraid that you are drowning and you call out to Jesus… well more like YELL out to Jesus and he simply replies…

“Where is your Faith?” (Luke 8:15)

Where is my faith?  That is such a good question!  Did I lose my faith or did I just misplace it?  No, I am just someone that takes the wrong fork in the road and then takes me a little bit longer to get back on track.  It’s in the times of testing and trials where my faith gets rocked. God wants me, us to be completely reliant on Him.  He wants us to be able to depend on Him to get us through.

We have been in a sermon series at our church called Dumb Things Christians say.  A couple weeks ago the sermon was about God Won’t Give You More Than You Can Handle.  When I saw that I literally laughed out loud.  God will most definitely give us more that we can handle. I feel like my life is a living example of that!  My first inclination when I am facing a problem is to doubt that God is really there.  But that is such false thinking.  God is always there.

Jonah 2:2 “in my distress I called out to God, and He answered me.”

Psalm 6 “O Lord, don’t rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your rage.  Have compassion on me, Lord, for I am weak.  Heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony.  I am sick at heart.  How long, O Lord, until you restore me?  Return, O Lord, and rescue me.  Save me because of your unfailing love.  For the dead do not remember you.  Who can praise you from the grave?  I am worn out from sobbing.  All night I flood my bed with weeping, drenching it with my tears.  My vision is blurred by grief; my eyes are worn out because of all my enemies.  God away, all you who do evil, for the Lord has heard my weeping.  The Lord has heard my plea; the Lord will answer my prayer.  May all my enemies be disgraced and terrified.  May they suddenly turn back in shame.”

God answered Jonah when he was in distress… God answered David when he was in agony.  God will always answer us, we just have to quiet the outside noise in order to hear him.  He doesn’t always come in like a roaring lion.  Most times he whispers to our soul.  So we have to humble ourselves in the presence of God to be able to hear him.  We can’t come to him with our worries, concerns, burdens shouting out loud… how could anyone talk over that?  I need to continually learn to NOT rely on myself, and to quiet my demons, and to rely on God who can raise me high above my trouble. (2 Cor. 1:8-9)

The only person that can pull me out of my anxiety, out of my insatiable need to control how my life goes is God.  Jesus came to take this burden from me, and I carry it around like a weight that I am supposed to bear. I have to come to the end of who I am in order to become who God needs me to be.  2 Corinthians 12: 7-9 says, “I could have become proud of myself because of the amazing and wonderful things God has shown me.  So I was given a problem that caused pain in my body.  It is a messenger from Satan to make me suffer.  Three times I begged the Lord to take it away from me.  But he said to me, ‘My grace is all you need.  My power is strongest when you are weak.‘” God’s grace.  I need God’s grace.

Lauren Daigle is by far one of my favorite christian artist’s out there right now.  As I am writing this post I am listening to her album.  And this song Once and For All came on. It is EVERYTHING that I have been writing about.  Listen to the song…just click the link. I have to choose every day to just lay myself down at Jesus’ feet.  I am nothing without Jesus.  My identity is not in how well I can control my life, it’s not in my hubby or my kids, it’s not in how well I homeschool my kids or what kind of Pastor’s wife I am… my identity is in Jesus.  It’s in Jesus and I have been living my life going in the wrong direction.  I have been going in the direction that Satan’s messenger has been wanting me to go… far into my anxiety, far into my controlling, and not into Jesus who can free me from all of that.  As I write this, I feel very convicted, like God is saying all of this to me through my own words.  I feel very hypocritical because I struggle with this every day.  It is a battle that I am scared I will never overcome.  But I need to lay it at the feet of Jesus every day and know that He will walk beside me carrying my burden that I was never meant to hold so close.  God gave us a gift from heaven, his Son.  I can’t deny that anymore.

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A blog post about…being lonely in the storms

Psalm 6

“O Lord, don’t rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your rage.

Have compassion on me, Lord, for I am weak.

Heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony.

I am sick at heart.

How long, O Lord, until you restore me?

Return, O Lord, and rescue me.  Save me because of you unfailing love.

For the dead do not remember you.  Who can praise you from the grave?

I am worn out from sobbing.  All night I flood my bed with weeping, drenching it with my tears.

My vision is blurred by grief; my eyes are worn out because of all my enemies.

Go away, all you who do evil, for the Lord has heard my weeping.

The Lord has heard my plea; the Lord will answer my prayer.

May all my enemies be disgraced and terrified.

May they suddenly turn back in shame.”

Psalm 6 has been one of those passages that I have turned to a lot lately.  It’s almost like you can hear David pleaing with God to not leave him alone.  He’s so down and so beaten that he just need to have God literally reach down, hold him, shelter him, and rub his head and say “Don’t worry I am right here.  Everything is going to be OK.  Dry your eyes my child for things will start to look up from now on.”

I have been trying to write this post for a few days now, and I either keep getting interrupted or I feel like it’s dumb to post or who knows.  I just can’t seem to make myself hit the “post” button.  Maybe I feel a little hypocritical cause I post about how God is my Savior and my everything yet, I struggle daily with the battles the enemy puts in front of my eyes.  It’s like the example that Tim Keller gives in his book Grace Filled Marriage… He asks you to take a credit card and hold it at arms length.  You can still see around the credit card right?  You can see everything that is coming your way and can combat it pretty easily.  He then says… now pull the credit card so it’s right in front of your eyes.  Did the credit card change shape?  No it didn’t, but our perception of how things are looking changed.  My enemy keeps that credit card so close to my eyes the I can’t even begin to look around it.  I try and push it away and start to succeed but then my weakness creeps in and it smacks me dead in the face, and it’s a little bit harder to try and push it away next time.  I try doing things on my own ALL THE TIME.  I don’t rely on Jesus nearly enough.  All He has to do is flick it like the triangle football that you used to make in class while you were bored out of your mind in high school.

I’m so exhausted, but it’s in the trials that God will give us just what we need.  He always provides and I need to lean into that more instead of “trusting” what I see right in front of me, because let’s be honest it’s not always true.  And even though I may feel alone, David wrote Psalm 6 because he was feeling like this.  I know that I am not alone, and now I need to start really believing that!

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A Blog Post About…Winter venting

There are days as a parent when your mind just kind of short circuits.  You know those days… The days that never seem to end.  The days where you keep doing laundry and the pile never really seems to end.  The days when you constantly hear the kids say “I”M BORED” or “I”M HUNGRY” on repeat about every 10 seconds.

Yep, it’s totally been those days here at my house.  It’s too cold to actually go outside and play so we try to have fun inside.  Although you do entertain the idea of throwing them outside for a little while.  But let’s be real… it will take longer to put 5 kids in all their snow gear that they will actually play outside.  Because as soon as the kids go outside their nose hairs will freeze and they actually might entertain the idea of sticking their tongue onto a metal pole just to see what would happen.

The other day we, I, made a sweet fort.  I’m so bummed that I didn’t take a pic to share!  But oh well.  By the times I got it all anchored down the kids had lost interest and the dog had jumped into the middle and wrecked half of it!  I cried a little, but put it all back together because the kids were upset that the dog messed it up – even though they weren’t playing in it because they couldn’t figure out what kind of animal to be!  Once they finally get everything figured out they started playing in it and the little one thought it would be awesome to jump on top of the fort.  To his defense it did look like an awesome trampoline.  But, it ended up causing WW3 of a wrestling match between the boy.  Punches were thrown, tears were shed, and quiet time was enacted before someone got REALLY hurt. FUN!

Yesterday, mommy got a fantastic idea that I should shred all our piled up papers that are just making a mess around the house.  So, with all 5 kids wanting to help I thought that it would go super smooth and fast.  Hahahahahaha… what was I thinking?!  Before I knew it, school papers were being shredded, including some of the teacher pages and schedules that were made.  *sigh* So I decided that we were done shredding paper since the shredder over heated and instead of cleaning up the shredded paper I just left it to start dinner.  And when I came back… teeny tiny shreds of paper were all over my living room.  My mind has shorted out.

I love winter…. not really.  Here’s to better days!

A Blog Post About Looking Back

Happy New Year!  How is it 2016 already?  Time seems to be flying by and nothing is stopping or slowing it down!  Since it’s the start of a new year, it seems appropriate to reflect on everything that happened in 2015.  Last year was a year of incredible change.  It was a year with ups and a lot of downs.  So… time to just ramble and dive in I suppose….(BTW, there was so much more that happened than this…)

We had started off at a corporate job last year and by March things were quickly changing.  We go to an amazing church and my hubby is so naturally talented with all things ministry that people noticed.  And within just a few months my hubby was hired as a Pastor of Groups at our church.  We have been wanting to be in the ministry for so long and this was finally our answer to prayer!

I’m not exactly sure how to write this out.  But I think that there is so much pressure now for women to seem to have it all together.  With Pinterest, only posting the highlights of your life on FB, having to be so careful whenever you leave the house that your kids are well behaved at all times… I couldn’t take the pressure anymore.  I am a people pleaser by nature, and I have let the pressure of incredibly high standards break me a little bit.  So, with my hubby and I in agreement, we decided that I should go to counseling to help me through some of these incredible standards that I have of myself.  It is something that I continue to struggle with and continue to work through, and I am hoping with this new year that I can overcome it. (If you need an amazing place to get some help, please click the link above.  You won’t regret it.)

We have continued on with our homeschooling journey, and I love it!  I am able to learn new things along with my kids and it’s amazing.  My kiddos are now in 3rd, 2nd, and K!

We were able to go on an amazing vacation to St. Thomas (thanks to my FIL). It is a trip that we will remember forever.  We were able to teach the kids how to go snorkeling, my oldest even went scuba diving (she is braver than I), we were able to see so much sea life, and watch sea turtles, and my son was able to see a sunken ship.  AMAZING!

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After the trip the holiday’s came in with a whirl and now we are here. I watched the movie War Room, and it made me realize a lot of things that my closest friends have been telling me. I have learned that I am nothing without Jesus. My marriage is nothing without Jesus. My family is nothing without Jesus. I have tried fixing things on my own strength and it has brought me to my knees because all it does is makes it worse.  I have made messes that have not been there and have done things that I regret all because I am a fallen human being.  I have hurt people I care the most about all because I try to control.  I will continue to make a mess but I know that with God at my control I will make it through.  It’s easy to say all of this, write all of this, but the proof will be in the actions.  It’s Day 2 of the New Year and I have 364 more days of 2016 to make this the best year yet! I made my own war room, and I plan to spend a lot of time here.

 

A blog post because I am a Child of God

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Ever have a part of your heart, your soul die just a little bit?  I have.  It’s so hard to get that part of your heart, your soul back.  It just sits there like a rock getting in the way of everything.  A little bit of you died the day you got bad news or whatever it was.  It’s the part of you that refuses to move forward because if you move forward you make yourself vulnerable again.  Vulnerable to pain, vulnerable to the death of another loved one, vulnerable to the incredible unfairness that this world brings.  Who wants to live in that?  Sometimes I am not sure what is worse.  Living in the death of the part of me that struggles to move on, or living in the vulnerability of this world.

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I guess choosing not to actually live in this present goodness is worse than living in the death of the familiar.  God has given me one life to live.  How do I want to be remembered?  Do I want to be remembered as the person that couldn’t get over the hardship of life, or do I want to be remembered as the woman who picked herself up continuously after being battered down?  I’ll take the latter, I think.  But the question then becomes how do I raise that part of me again that has been dead for so long?

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The answer is simple.  Well, it seems to be simple that is.  “I am no longer a slave to fear.  I AM A CHILD OF GOD.” I’m never truly alone in my darkness.  That small part of my heart really isn’t dead, it’s just grieving and having trouble moving on.  But I am no longer a slave to the fear of moving on… to the fear of not knowing what is next because I am a child of God.  I am a Child of God.

Psalm 61 (NLT) says

“Oh God, listen to my cry!  Hear my prayer!  From the ends of the earth, I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed.  Lead me to the towering rock of safety, for you are my safe refuge, a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me.  Let me live forever in your sanctuary, safe beneath the shelter of your wings. …”

I push that safety away because I feel like I am supposed to live in this darkness.  Is it because I feel like I deserve to be punished for something and don’t deserve that grace under the shelter of His wings?  I’m not really sure.  But seriously, it’s lonely here in the dark.  I look to the side and I see the light that Jesus is offering to me and I reach out for Him to grab a hold of me, and I am afraid of what will happen next.  But I grab hold because He is so much better than the darkness.

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