Thursday, February 26, 2015

Taking Back My Focus

One of my biggest issues with myself over last year was lack of focus. I know that has a lot to do with all I have going on from kids, homeschooling, working some, house, responsibilities, etc. I forgot things. I didn't get things done I wanted to. I made mistakes. I didn't want to enter this new year with the same sense of being out of control. There is only so much I can really do in this area since I am a mom of 4 little boys, one of whom is special needs (Autism), I have a husband who works practically non-stop and have many responsibilities. However, I knew the Lord could be my rock in this area and show me how to make the most of my time and help me address my weak areas.

I had some very simple things I could start doing to help gain better control of my life. I started going to bed earlier (most nights). That is one reason I have not been blogging. I had been crashing on the couch after getting the kids to bed and staying up too late, virtually sucking the energy out of the following day. So, getting more rest has been helpful. I don't always stick to my plan, but when I do I can tell a difference. I also, cut out game apps on my phone. This was a focus zapper for me and helped create time to do other things. My goal for each day really is to attack the day. In order to get more done I really took on the mindset to make it happen. I won't sit back and let the day get away from me, but get going and be productive. I must say today at the beginning I failed miserably! Part of my issue today was the previous day was jam packed and I was exhausted by the end of the day. But, I think the Lord also calls me to rest up and make time to get recharged. I am grateful He does call us to rest! The afternoon was busy and I got things done, so the day wasn't a total loss. Relating to my last post about making God the center of my life, I am giving my days to the Lord. He has been faithful to help me. I am amazed at His bringing things to my mind to help me not miss deadlines or miss opportunities! He has helped me prioritize and let me know when I need to just chill or make an extra effort. He tells me when I need to say yes and when I need to decline.

I do feel a lot more control over my life, but it has more to do with giving over control of my life each day to Him. It is such a freedom in knowing He has me in His hands and I don't carry the burden of my life!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

What I've Been Up To

It has been a little over 2 months since my last post and the first post of 2015. I have been wanting so badly to be back to blogging! I started out 2015 with a lot of goals and have been working hard at making progress on those goals. It has been an exciting time and I have seen the Lord really move in my life and the life of my family! Last year, 2014, was generally a struggle and I felt a sense of frustration and disappointment at the end of the year with myself. I didn't want 2015 to continue those feelings. There are many things in my life as far as circumstances go that I would love to change and pray for on a regular basis for answers and movement in those areas. However, I knew changes in myself could come much quicker and make an immediate difference in my feelings and overall emotional and physical wellbeing. Things I wanted would also impact my family in a positive way and that was a big deal.

I am no where near where I want to be and it is a process and road I am on.

I decided to go ahead and do my blog post after a pretty stressful day on and off. The day involved several car rides which were less than enjoyable, many requests I made resulted in the word no and sometimes a scream, homework with Titus where I had to redirect many more times than I would have liked to, an abrupt grocery store trip with a tantrum and the evening ended in exhaustion begging my child to please get his pajamas on. I am spent!

I just thought I would share that one way I have been making this year count is to really make the Lord my everything. I really wanted to let Him truly impact me in very practical, tangible ways. Just to keep things in perspective that He has this life I am living. I am praying more about everything and little things. I added a prayer app on my phone to remind me of prayers and this has helped me keep up a life of prayer, praying throughout the day. I really take note and celebrate the little things like finding a missing library book or receiving a needed letter in the mail. I have seen Him at work so much and am treasuring His presence and answered prayers so much! I am turning to Him for everything! I am leaning on Him much more and my spirit can tell the difference!

I hope to share more about what God is doing in my life and what He has shown me to work on this year in coming blog posts!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

I Am a Mess in Need of a Savior

This particular post has been on my heart for over a week! I have started it several times. Last week specifically I felt disingenuous about writing it. I could not write this post until it took hold of my heart. I could not write this post without it soaking into my Spirit. I felt God speaking to me so strongly, but it took time to get it, really get it.

It is a lifelong struggle to keep our eyes on Christ. It is a daily struggle to not let the things of the world cloud our vision of Him. However, lately it isn't really the things of the world getting to me, however there is so much to be distracted and discouraged by. Lately, it is the things of my world that have been troubling me most. It is my laundry, the dishes in my sink, mounds of work that needs to be done, my expectations of myself that are overwhelming my vision. At times all I can see is what is in front of me. I feel like a huge mess! I am a huge hot mess!

God has really been convicting me not to focus on what is going on around me and let that dictate how I feel. He doesn't want me to dwell on the ants invading my bathroom or the cat knocking over a cup of water. He doesn't want me to get down over the messy areas of my life!

For Advent, I have been reading from the "Jesus Storybook Bible." At the end of each story it ties the theme back to Jesus. In each reading it emphasizes the world's need for a Savior. Through each struggle, each situation, each triumph, each victory, each loss, no matter the situation, the world needs Jesus. It has been so precious for me to read this with my kids and be reminded of my own need for Jesus. I am truly a mess in need of a Savior. My life will never be perfect, I will never be perfect. Things won't go as planned, things won't be easy, things won't be what I would like for them to be at all times. I am so thankful for Jesus. As it gets closer to Christmas I am so looking forward to celebrating His coming into this messy world and redeeming it unto Himself! He redeemed me and called me by name! I am bound to need this message over and over again in my life, but for now my eyes are on Him and not the mess!

"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."  2 Corinthians 4:18

Friday, December 05, 2014

Giving In-But, Not In the Way You Think

I apologize for not posting for awhile! I took the week of Thanksgiving off and lots going on this week too! My time has been so tight this week! Seriously felt like there seriously aren't enough hours in each day!

I have more to do everyday than can possibly get done and not near enough energy to do it either! I wake up each day with a plan and hope to check off all my items on my mental to do list. My day starts off early getting Titus off to school and goes on from there! Breakfast, cleaning, homeschooling, more cleaning, lunches, more homeschooling, errands, more cleaning, getting Titus off the bus, and did I mention the cleaning and even with all the cleaning my house is still a mess. It is a never ending pile in my mind and I desire so badly for that pile to be lightened! I can get tunnel visioned and in a frenzy to do it all and rush through the day. This drive however can make me miss important and valuable time with my kids. I really have to make myself hit the pause button on the ruthless inner struggle to get it all done and be present in the moment! When Liam ask me to watch him do a silly jump of the couch onto a pillow below, I watch. When Chase is singing and dancing to the theme song to "Paw Patrol" I stop and sing along! Justice pulls me aside to watch an Auburn youtube video I stop what I am doing and join in with him. Titus practically takes me out with a huge bear hug and I pick him up, all nearly 70 lbs. of him and embrace the moment! These are truly the moments that matter and count and I wouldn't miss them for the world or checking off a box in my head. I don't always take these opportunities and I pray God slows my mind down because I don't want to miss the chance He has given me to enjoy the gifts my boys are! I have the glorious privilege to be their mother and enjoy the sweet childhood moments of mispronouncing words, singing off key, making funny faces, imagination, and loving their momma! I don't want to be any where else than in these moments! I am giving in!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

A Broken Vase

Excitement buzzed through the house earlier this week as we began to decorate for Christmas! The kids were following me throughout the house as I pulled down boxes and decorations in various closets they had been stored. We were just consumed with the fun and busyness we were involved in! I absolutely love these times as a mom! We are working together and the kids are engaged in our project as a family. It is just the best fun!

In the middle of our fun work, Chase had come down the stairs and his toy had fallen, I turned quickly as the sound of shattered glass startled me. My first response was to make sure barefooted Chase was not near the glass. After getting him out of the way I discovered the top to my much beloved wedding vase filled with dried flowers from that day had been broken to a million pieces. My heart dropped a little needless to say. I was reminded of my thought, "I can't keep anything nice!"

But, as I swept up tiny pieces of broken glass, I was also reminded of something Ron said in a conversation we had had last week. This statement had rung through my head several times after he said it, "Our children are the only thing we have of value." This was such a profound statement to me! It is so true! The only thing we have of value is our children. I can let the vase go, I can let my house go, my kids are the only thing that matter. I can get all worked up over a broken vase or realize it doesn't matter nearly as much as the one who broke it! Now, I do teach my kids to be careful and take care of things, but all my stuff has no significance in comparison to the eternal and beautiful value of my children!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Run Over No More

On Friday night I had the opportunity to take my kids to the basketball game. It was a bit of a risk. I would be taking my three older kids in the freezing and late at night! Since a sweet friend offered 4 tickets for free I jumped at the opportunity!

I loaded up the boys and headed out! I felt God's strength and approval on the night! I could do this! We parked a mile away and had a long, cold walk to the arena, but we made it! The looks on my sweet boys' faces was priceless as we got to our seats! The buzz of the crowd, Aubie dancing around, and the swell of the band enthralled us all!

As promised, I took them to the concession stand to get good game food. We had a little bit of arguing over food, but got it all together! We sat back down in our seats to enjoy our treats! Shortly after sitting a man in front of us got my attention and very angrily said about Titus, "You are going to have to move him, his feet are at my back and I can't take it the whole game." His girlfriend or wife was trying to stop him and he again repeated, "I won't take it." I quickly apologized profusely and in the midst of trying to feed my kids stopped and moved Titus over from our assigned seats. I sat there defeated and feeling bad. I also felt bad that I had been treated with such disrespect and lack of tact. I didn't mind moving Titus at all. I know he has boundary issues and doesn't realize what he is doing a lot. In general I react pretty passively with others. I don't really stand up for myself. I felt a calm rush over me and a surge of strength. I got the attention of the man and said to him, "Sir, I am really sorry about that. I am very sorry, but I wish you had asked me or told me what was going on so that I could have handled it." He couldn't look me in the face after I said I wish that he had asked.

I was proud of myself for standing up to him in a respectful way. I used a very calm, but assertive tone. I didn't get emotional or trip over my words. The Lord had spoken through me. He didn't want the night to be overshadowed by an attempt to make me feel weak or that I can't take my kids out by myself. He breathed His words into my heart and gave me what I needed to handle things in the right way. I must admit I was still uncomfortable where we were sitting and finished the food and got our things together to take the boys to the kids' area to play. As I got up with the boys the lady behind me told me how sweet and cute my boys were! This was God speaking through her I am sure! I was encouraged! It gave me a lift! He is undoubtedly with me! I am hoping to continue on my journey of being confident in myself and ultimately who I am in the Lord and not letting people run over me! I am a work in progress, but in the Lord I am whole and complete! I should not let anyone make me feel any less!

"He is before all things, and in him all things hold together." Col. 1:17

He holds me together!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

In a Funk

This afternoon I got myself into a funk! It may or may not have started with Titus head butting me in the mouth and nose resulting in a fat lip and bruised nose! Otherwise it was just a general disgruntlement! Nothing much to point to for my malaise, just in a funk! Some things had been on my mind as usual, things out of my control may have also been a factor. I had asked my mom and a friend to pray for me.

Later on in the evening I decided to continue my search for a toy Chase had lost. I had tried to look under the couches even using the end of a broom to sweep under them. But, I had been unsuccessful. So, I decided just to move them completely out of the way. I moved them across the room, vacuuming and removing objects such as Legos, pencils, crayons, and coins. The first couch did not uncover the missing toy. But, as I moved the second couch the toy appeared! I was so overjoyed! In the midst of my activity my funk disappeared! I realized something, my focus had shifted from the feeling I was having to what I was doing! It was a very cathartic diversion! I am glad I had asked for prayer because I believe it was the Lord who lead me to move the couches, clean and search for the toy! In the future when I have moments like these I am going to remember it really does help to do something active like exercise, rearranging furniture, cleaning out a closet, etc. It takes the focus off the frustrations to the action taking place! This was a simple, but very helpful revelation!