Wednesday, October 22, 2014

It Takes Time...

Well, I can't believe how fast the past few weeks have blown by for me.  It seems like its only been a little while but then I see I haven't blogged in weeks!!!!  Oh my, what is going on!

I think sometimes life get's busy & you have to take time to focus on what really matters.  Yes, blogging is enjoyable for me & I hope it either helps or inspires others to take time to contemplate their life.  When you feel overwhelmed or a lot is going on, you have to let some things go...sadly, this blog, while completely enjoyable, had to take a backseat to my kids, home & other decisions that needed to be made.  We are just getting settled with learning how homeschool is going to work in our day to day lives.  It can be challenging to change the way things have been going to accommodate for a whole new structure in your lives.

Along with prayerfully visiting area churches to really find something alive, genuine, real, who understand what being led by the Holy Spirit is & what being led by the Holy Spirit isn't.  Its hard to find people like that nowadays let alone a fellowship of believers who mostly exemplify these qualities.  I can barely find friends who are willing to put their smart phones down while going to "hang out" on a evening.  So, we keep visiting & liking some churches more than others--this is going to require much prayer & direction because we have no clue now where we are going.  We need somewhere that our kids are going to learn how to really live a true, honest, loving Christian life & not just pay lip-service to it as they do what they want.

All these things were taking up much of my thought life & time everyday.  I've been digging through a lot of personal emotions too that have been holding me down.  i wonder why so many of us let ourselves coast emotionally, spiritually & physically as we go along in life.  This coasting doesn't keep us in a constant good!  In fact, it actually is like a pond that used to have an inlet & an outlet but was physically dammed up to protect the land from all the floods that would come when storms hit.  Sadly, protecting from bad floods set the pond up to become putrid & stagnant.  Stagnancy doesn't preserve, it spoils the water & makes it unusable.

The same thing goes for our emotional & spiritual well-being.  If we try to "coast" & not allow ANY emotion to be felt, we not only stop the bad feelings, we also stop the good things as well.  It makes our heart mucky & sees negative thoughts, it thinks what it shouldn't & lends to leaving open cracks for Satan's fiery darts to hit us.  We think we are avoiding any problems when "damming up our hearts" actually causes the more harm than we realize.  You cannot stay healthy and coast on God's Word.  You have to allow yourself to guard your heart through constantly challenging your thoughts, knowledge, feelings, beliefs on His Word.  Only then can we deal with ourselves.  Praying & allowing us to feel the Holy Spirit will open you up to feeling other emotions but they must be under self-control.  We need to understand God doesn't want us to be emotional vacuums;  God wants us to know how to handle them & ignoring them isn't the answer because it is what makes our hearts sick.  Coasting makes us just shove down all feelings.  If you ignore bad feelings long enough, you will feel nothing in the good times either.  You can't choose what not to feel without immediate prayer & learned wisdom....God doesn't want you to shove down or ignore your feelings.  He wants to redeem your thoughts & take away the negative ones so you aren't burdened with them.

So, I recently did that & boy, my life has been a bit of a challenge lately.  Sometimes I cry when I am upset & I am learning to surround myself with Godly things to get my thought life in order.  The more negative things I cut out & the more I am paying attention to my thoughts, the more I am able to take the bad thoughts captive.  I feel more free emotionally...I can feel things again & I am feeling emotions, both good & bad, more than I've done in a long while.  I feel I am also able to empathize better now that I feel the release of all the things that were blocking me up both emotionally & spiritually.

So, a challenge for you:

IF You are coasting emotionally or spiritually, please listen to someone (ME) who has done this for 8 years now:  STOP!  Get someone who knows about spiritual warfare to pray for you either from a Spirit-filled churches (those are the ones that actually let the Holy Spirit change things up once in a while if need be) or find a friend that you can pray with about this for as long as needed until you have let go of anything holding you from being emotionally healthy.

For those of you who are in tough situations:  don't lose heart & don't try to close up emotionally to lock away the won't just lock away pain, you will close off good feelings too!  And if you feel a desire to self-harm, know that is not from God, that is a fiery dart from Satan to destroy you emotionally, spiritually & physically.  Find someone who will listen, pray for you wholeheartedly & give you honest, Biblical advice--someone who is real & honest.  Just please don't try to fight this without Jesus either.

If you feel this way & do not know God or what Jesus Christ did for all the nastiness & wrong behavior/attitudes inside of us that we are ashamed of....please be sure to either contact me, another follower of Christ locally or even ask the Almighty God & Creator of the Universe to send someone your way as soon as possible.  For true emotional/spiritual freedom, you need to know God personally & you can't do that without knowing what God did for you & those things you can't seem to master on your own.   Stop trying to do life yourself....its so much better when you have not only God on your side but a "church", a group of believers to help you as you struggle at times through life, & for someone to share the amazing joys that come from being free in what Jesus has done.  Below is a conversation & prayer you can have with God to begin a relationship with Him through what Jesus did for us.  If you want more information, look at the book of John & Romans in the New Testanment of the Bible.

You can also go to WikiHow How to Accept Jesus into your life... (Yes, there is a WikiHow on this!)

So, it isn't an overnight thing to get yourself from stagnant & dammed up to having a healthy flow of emotions & the Hold Spirit helping sift out the bad  as you resist the temptation to act in the wrong way based on what you're feeling.  Having the emotions of anger, sadness, worry, etc aren't bad, its when we let them turn our thoughts negative & towards a wrong response or action that we do something wrong.  Hurt people, like me, we all need to learn how to let them go to God & to refuse to give in to them through mulling over them or using them as an excuse to lash out.

That is all for now....I hope to blog next week sometime.  See you then!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

In a Daze

Life has been so crazy that I just realized I hadn't blogged for at least a week or so!  Wow, I didn't know how busy I have been with home school starting, youngest son's 2nd birthday coming tomorrow,  friends coming to stay a few days, Thomas the Train event, church visiting & just normal daily chores.

That's when I understood how easily we can do that to actual friends so easily.  We get so caught up in "our thing" that we don't even pay attention to what is going on not only with those we call friends but just people in general around us.  We have so much to do, so little time & all the "social media" or "gaming" things to do, we forget that there are actual real people that want to know us.  There are friends we haven't seen in months that wonder how we are doing.  There are church events we avoid because we don't want to get to know any new people because we either have "enough" friends or are too scared from past rejection with being the "new person" we just don't have any desire to make new friends.

I am shocked at my own aversion over the past year at wanting to meet new people.  I think it stems from being at home & having so many people paint this picture in their mind as to what you are like before they even take time to know you.  I notice many people at the church we used to go to did that, especially in the group I was volunteering with to help.  Its like we not only put our religion in a box that even God Himself cannot break through, we put other people in boxes before we even take time to see who is inside--the parts that make someone interesting & unique. So many times I've been the new person with people all around me never noticing how out of place I felt.  I've been on that side too....of being around people but not actually being a part of what is going on--feeling very left out & alone.  I've been there too many times & its left me jaded about friend making.  I willingly admit that to help others realize: if you are so busy with your "groupies" of friends that you never notice someone new (or long time being there) alone, you are too involved as a group of friends.  I would & will always make room for those people in my life because I know how that feels way too often.  I wondered why people seemingly "forget" the person alone in a crowd or act (maybe even flat out tell others) they have no time for new friends.  Why do we do these things?  Is it we are only keeping familiar faces & thoughts in our minds because its comfortable in our little world?


Let's face it, many of us want cookie-cutter friends that act like those people we see on sitcoms.  We want those predictable TV relationships because its what we have been taught to believe is normal.   We see it acted out day after day, show after show.....and we wonder why we don't have any deep feeling for anyone or strong relationships.  We are going about this wrong.  We are so focused on what we get out of a relationship that we get ourselves stuck in a rut of self-serving.  We are constantly on social media thinking we are connecting with people when we are not.

If your family does this:

 You are going about it wrong (sorry to offend, but let's be honest, we know this is true).  This isn't actual time with your family, its time doing what you want to do while being in the same room with your family....and that is something that does not develop relationships.  In fact, it stagnates them & makes the relationship unappealing after a time because it becomes stale.

Another example of what our culture deems as "going out".

If  your outing with friends is filled mostly with this going on:

You aren't really connecting with the people there.  Are you?  You aren't talking or looking at each other, you are "together" but not spending time together.  Is that really a relationship or just a larger, yet shallow pool of acquaintances that know more than they should about you.

Relationships take time....quality time talking about more than the weather,who you like, what your wore or where you went yesterday--going through the best & worst of times with them, talking about tough things & debating topics that challenge you as a person. Maybe even see some of the best & worst of each other along the way, choosing to accept them for their good & bad, yet also knowing when to encourage someone to grow.  We don't know how to do this because we are all too self-focused on what we have to do, where we are going, what matters most to us, & what we are getting out of a relationship.  Christ was never this way....He was other's focused, He gave of Himself without any remorse or selfishness--He chose to give out of love from God, not human emotion.

Now, I don't mean He didn't take time to be by Himself to "recharge".  Even God in the flesh needed some breathing space and we do need to take time for ourselves.  If you are finding you are doing things more for you than others ( and trust me, children & husband count as doing things for others, mommy), then you have some focus issues.  If you are taking so much time to give to others because its "what you are supposed to do," you are doing out of duty & not out of God's love. We need to look at how we can help others, but there is a catch.

We can't do things for others if we aren't looking to do for God first.  We need to seek Him & what He wants first based on what we learn from spending time in the Bible reading what it has to say....the doing things for others will then come naturally out of loving God rather than an obligation we will drop when life get's hard.   Commitment comes from the love God gives to us & what we want to live out from because human love is frail & wanes.  You can count on God's love to urge you to help & also bring you joy when you take time to care for someone else.

So, a challenge for us all until I write again: Take some time to really pray, ask for answers & read what the Bible says about loving & helping others, about seeking Him first...what love is really about & how you can bring more of God's love into your life to overflow into others' lives too! 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Just Thinkin'

I am going to apologize now for the long post.  I have had a lot on my mind lately...thought it would be good to get it out there.  Maybe it will comfort or help someone else who is struggling.

Amidst all the craziness here while having a family friend visit for two weeks, getting ready both for my oldest starting preschool here at home in a week & my youngest's 2nd birthday adventure at Day Out With Thomas...I haven't had much time to myself or to think about blogging.  Not to mention other things on our minds that have needed processing & decisions.

The biggest decision is what to do as we watched our 3 1/2 yr old boy develop a disrespectful attitude towards us.  It seemed to start right after being in the toddler's kids church & then I would try to "work" on this attitude with discipline & daddy with some traditional southern values...wink.  We would start getting somewhere & then it was Wednesday--time to go to mid-week services at our church.  Guess what, our usually well-mannered child would come home, once again, with this amazingly bad & disrespectful attitude towards us.  I am talking "SIGH, whatever MOM..."  or him rolling his eyes when I ask him to do something.  Sometimes he was outright refusing to do what I told him then folding his arms & glaring at me?!?!  This is not the son I remember!  What happened?  I hadn't changed anything, he isn't in daycare or school....then we saw the pattern.  It had to be dealt with immediately.  

So we discovered a more than acceptable amount of kids in the class who were not told "no" at home or appropriately disciplined, which caused trouble for the teachers including some of the young adults who I know in the classroom.  They had no way to control these kids--they would not listen no matter what and some of the other well-behaved kids were mimicking this attitude.

We had to make a decision after leaving him one more week & seeing it get worse.  This cannot go on if I desire to teach my child anything in preschool in a week or so.  SO, we first decided to pull him out of kid's church & stay in the service with us.  This came with amazing results.  He behaved, loved the music & was quiet during the sermon.  No attitude at home or disrespect.  He was great today; listening & doing what is told without rolling of eyes or sighs of displeasure.  I can't believe the difference but it is there as obvious evidence to what we thought was going on:  he was picking up bad habits & attitudes from other children.

This was the last straw in our tough decision as of late.  We have been mulling for months over seeking out another congregation of believers that mix better with where our lives are headed.  This sound bad, but hear me out.  We are in a congregation where much of the leadership stands by our public schools & sends their kids to them.  I could see the effects of the public school system before all this new initiative. The public school system has left many Christian kids spiritually broken, lonely, & confused.  Who wants this for your kid?  I won't get on my soapbox here (maybe another blog later) Any mom or dad worth their salt, both conservatives & liberals alike, have seen how bad Common Core is to the intellect of our children....if not let me send you to this video to help you out.  Please watch & then have a comment:

Brilliant anti-Common Core Speech by Dr. Duke Pesta  

Onwards to more....with this swarm of "culture norm" Christians as I call them, came the looks, the coughs & silence once they found out that I was "one of those 'homeschooling' people".  All my friendships have been fading except for a few people who either:  1) work as a private school teacher to afford to keep there kids in that school 2) Are home school advocates themselves or  3) Are newly married & are seeing the problems now & look to make the same decisions we have.  That leaves us with only a few people but still most of them are all so activity-busy they don't have time to spend with actual people. 

Making matters worse, I went to the older kids church where my son will be when he is 5 yrs old.  I talked to the director, who knows me (but not my education plans for my kids), and I saw they split kids up by school!  So, no intermingling with other kids from other areas or anything....So I then ask, "what group do you put the homeschooled kids in?"  He promptly answered, "Oh, we put them in ____ color group with these other kids.....they don't really matter so we don't worry about them."  WHAT!!!!!  I had already asked the small handful of jr. high kids about what its like to be a homeschooled kid in this church.  They mentioned the almost anti-homeschool attitude of the kids church workers; not allowing them to answer questions because they can articulate them well for other who don't know or they have actual, not watered-down Biblically-based beliefs that can cause too many discussions.  They felt like pariahs when many parents in our town have been pulling kids out of school.  SO much so, that they can't even fill the pre-school this year & are recruiting 3 year olds that normally are too young to attend.  This is unacceptable behavior I believe.
Children growing up in a church should not be segregated by school & some shoved off because they don't fit this "cultural" norm (aren't we supposed to be different?)

There are a few other reasons that factor into our decision, but we have decided to seek a more "homeschool" friendly church.  We see this as something that God called us to do to be different from the world:  to actually be involved & in charge of our childrens' education.  I want to be around other parents that either don't judge, don't care or agree/are doing the same.  We are praying about what to do & where to go.  Its hard, but we have learned never to stay just for the "preacher" because that is not what makes a church.  The people & the leadership make a church what it is, no matter what the pastor thinks.  If we are made to feel like outcasts, we need to weigh our options here.  Especially when your personal Bible study, prayer & taking a stand against the evil that is going on in our culture, nation & world makes you unpopular.  It signals to me the start of a foundation problem that will lead to bigger things later. 

 I see the signs here at our current church & my kids mental & spiritual health will no be sacrificed to stay & try to help fix it.  Its always hard but God first calls you to train up your kids.  They can't be trained well if you never see them, they are constantly barraged with opposite messages, or are mocked for their belief.  This is not the environment to grow in intellect or true Christian charity (I should know, I barely escaped public school in the 90's with my faith strong; its taken me a decade to repair from all that emotionally & spiritually).  This is what leads to broken, arm cutting, spiritually broken people who do nothing for anyone.

So why do we keep doing the same things our culture does?  Just get up, send them to school for almost the whole day with someone you really don't know.  Go to work to buy all the materialistic things our culture says we MUST have to be happy, go home, eat processed crap instead of real food we have to cook, get our kids to try to behave before we shove them off to bed (barely knowing what they did, learned or felt that day) and try to entertain ourselves to avoid actually taking time to think about what we are doing because blissful, deliberate ignorance is better than stopping, looking at the truth & making a change.  Then we go to church to "feel better" about ourselves instead of reading the Bible for ourselves, praying (really praying like to have a two-way conversation not just spout off our needs/wants/desires to our big daddy in the sky) & looking for ways to make ourselves more caring to those hurting around us. challenging to those Christians living in their "boxed" thinking & showing our kids the REAL way to live for Christ. 

We keep doing these "things" we are told to do without seeing anything but negative results.  WHY?  Please tell me why we still do this & not try to change things up?

SO here is my challenge for myself & for you:  Take some time this week to really sit & THINK....mull over what I said.  Look up chapters in the Bible & READ THEM....pray, seek God about the answers.  Ask yourself if what you are doing is leading you & your family closer to what the rest of our culture is headed towards: destruction & spiritual death or are you headed towards truth, love & life in Christ?  Its not about beating yourself up, its about meeting yourself where you are & admitting it....getting past all the masks & stuff you stifle the very things you know are dragging you down.  Take the time to see what's really going on with your kids.  Get to know them & find out what is really being taught to them...then ask:  is this going to grow my kids faith.  If not, look into better education options.  IF they are past basics (reading, grammar, basic math, etc)  They can really learn for themselves with some small assistance from you here & there.  If you want something bad enough, you will do what it takes in your life to achieve it....maybe you need a goal reset.  

It might make all the difference for you starting now.  I know it has for our family.  I will never go back to the way I used to see things or my old ways....The more I seek God, the more of the truth I understand.  The more I love others where they are too...I want to help them up to see past all the smoke & mirrors. 

Will you let me pull you up & see the life you are missing out on?

Thursday, August 14, 2014

What is LOVE?

So I have been thinking about this lately...then I found this blog I never posted back from 2011.  So here it is:

Love is more than always feeling passionate & warm n' fuzzy.  Its about choosing to love even when you are upset and are not happy with how others are acting.  So, here's to getting over disappointment and mending the hurts by continuing on and mending it with TLC..

I am about to put some tips down for marriage..ones we need to start using.  I will put up the links for the whole article. Mostly due to the large entries on some of the 7 tips (mostly tips  1&2) please, check out the full article--its super helpful!!

7 Marriage Tips to Stay Lucky in Love


Marriage Tip No. 1: Purge the "D'" word.

With the taste of wedding cake barely off their lips, divorce is the last thought -- or word -- on newlyweds' minds. But as the honeymoon period wanes, and day-to-day difficulties crop up, the word can come up frequently during arguments for some couples, say relationship counselors.
"Just don't go there," suggests Steve Brody, PhD, a psychologist in Cambria, Calif., who counsels couples. "Some people pull that out much too early, and much too often in a relationship. It raises a whole level ofanxiety [in the person hearing it]."

Marriage Tip No. 2: Replace the 7 deadly habits in a marriage with the 7 caring habits.

Learning the seven bad habits and the seven good ones is the easy part, admit William Glasser, MD, a Los Angeles psychiatrist, and his wife, Carleen Glasser, MA, who co-authored Eight Lessons for a Happier Marriage and include this idea in their book and counseling sessions. Putting them into practice takes effort, of course.
The seven deadly habits are criticizing, blaming, complaining, nagging, threatening, punishing, and bribing.
The seven caring habits include supporting, encouraging, listening, accepting, trusting, respecting, and negotiating your differences.

Marriage Tip No. 3: Take care of yourself.

This marriage tip is short and sweet: "Take care of yourself physically and spiritually," Brody tells couples.
That way, your stress will be down and your tolerance will be up. You'll be less likely to get on each other's nerves -- and to squabble. You're more likely to have a happy marriage.

Marriage Tip No. 4: Discuss outside friendships.

While some married couples consider activities such as workplace friendships with members of the opposite sex acceptable, some relationship experts disagree.
"I'm not big on cross-gender friendships for married people," Brody says. "It's playing with fire." One exception, in his book: If a wife has a friendship with a gay man or a husband has a friendship with a gay woman, he's fine with that, since the romance potential is nonexistent.
Otherwise, he says, the line is too easy and tempting to cross.

Marriage Tip No. 5: Stop trying to control your partner.

It's another one of those easier-said-than done marriage tips, of course. But trying to control each other -- using a technique psychologists call "external control" -- is the main source of marital unhappiness, according to the Glassers. In a happy marriage, partners know they cannot control each other.
You have practiced this "external control" if you have ever told your partner they need to behave the way you want them to or that you know what is right.
Learning not to control a partner can be a long process, but the Glassers offer some tips on educating yourself. "Think first," Carleen Glasser says. Ask yourself: "If I can only control my own behavior, what can I do to help the marriage?" Then think of what you can change to make the problem better, she suggests.

Marriage Tip No. 6: Honor and respect your partner.

"Be honoring all the time," says Thomas Merrill. That means no "my old lady" stories, he says. And it also means a wife shouldn't be flirting with male co-workers or other men.
Respect was also a marriage tip that came up often from the marriage masters, Boggs says. "The No. 1 principle that almost everyone talked about is respect," he says. "You can have respect without love, but you cannot have love without respect."
Respect, say those with a happy marriage, means not undermining your partner in front of the children. "And don't go outside the marriage when you are having a problem," Boggs says they advised. "Discuss it with your partner."
Respect also means not criticizing your mate in front of others, Miller and Boggs were often told by the marriage masters. To make this marriage tip easier to practice, consider the input of one marriage master on the topic, Boggs says. "One man told me, 'Let's say someone is walking by when you are criticizing your mate. That is the only opinion they have of you.'"

Marriage Tip No. 7: If you're the wife, lower your expectations. If you're the husband, step up to the plate.

When Steve Brody and his wife, Cathy Brody, MFT, a marriage and family counselor, toured the country to promote their book, Renew Your Marriage at Midlife, they asked audiences what they wanted from marriage.
"Women expected to be loved, cherished, listened to, cared for, and courted," Steve Brody says. They had a long list of wants and expectations, he recalls. The men joked that their expectations were more basic: Their typical answers, Brody says: "Bring food and show up naked."
While the men were half joking, the gaps in expectations are a good lesson. To close the gap, Brody says, women need to lower their expectations -- to not expect 24/7 romance, for instance, especially if their mate has just worked an unbelievably long week.
Men need to do some of the things the woman wants, such as prioritize their relationship and listen more, he says. In a nutshell, Brody says, "Men need to do the same things at home that they do at work." He tells the husbands he counsels to think of it this way: "Your wife is the million-dollar client. If she walks out the door, the business is closed."

 And here's 8 more tips I found that are also important to keeping a marriage strong:


Private matters like your sexual relationships, finances and anything else you deem private should be kept between you and your mate, only.

Whatever happens within the marriage should stay there and not be blabbed about at the workplace or bar. If your mate couldn't climax the night before don’t make fun about it in public. That should remain between the two of you only.

Problems often arise if the wife earns more than the husband. He doesn't want people to think the wife is keeping him or that he married her for her money, so it’s best to keep financial matters as private as possible.


Set up a budget and then try to stay within your budget. Put so much aside into a savings account, each month, even if it seems a measly amount. This gets you into the habit of saving and watching areas where you could economize even more.

Plan ahead for those necessary expenditures and emergencies. Review your strategy month by month along with your long term goals.

Figure out ways of economizing on the small details, because those pennies really do add up.


Draw up a contract just like a business arrangement where you list all the jobs that have to be done and when they have to be completed. That way everything gets done on a routine basis. This leaves no room for arguments about who should do what.

Set aside one hour a night when you both work at your routines set for that day. You work together, you finish together and then you have time for each other. It’s amazing what can be accomplished within one hour especially if you are both working at it and not feeling slighted because you’re the only one, doing all the work while your partner just sits and watches TV.


No one wants a yes man or woman. Both men and women are different and therefore should retain their own likes and dislikes. Just because the husband likes football, doesn’t mean that the wife has to enjoy it and the reverse is true for the wife and her enjoyments which the husband can’t stand, like perhaps sewing. But, show respect for your mate’s interests and the time set for your mate to spend with friends.

Always respect each other’s belief systems. No two people think the exact same way.


If you have discussed a problem with one of the children and come to a decision then stick to it and don’t undermine your mate making him/her to look like a monster. The child needs to know that if one parent says no then the other one agrees. Children become confused and start playing one parent against the other.

This will eventually cause a rift between the parents and can lead to an unhappy household. No parent enjoys hearing a child say well daddy/mommy said I could after you have just told the child no.


If something happens, tell your mate outright and then try to work through the problem. There is nothing worse than hearing it second hand from a friend rather than from your mate directly.

Take time for each other and the family, instead of attending too many committee meetings out of the house.

If you like to drink, why not drink at home instead of down at the bar. It’s cheaper and your mate will be happier knowing where you are. Perhaps bring your buddies home once in a while. Again both mates should check with the other to be sure there aren't other plans for that night.


Let your mate know if you are planning to bring friends home and not just walk in with them. The same thing for your children. Tell them to plan ahead and perhaps set one night a week preferably not the same night the bridge or drinking party is taking place so they can start organizing their lives as well.

When your mate is sick, try to be considerate. That means keeping the house quiet and helping with the clean meals and clean-up. Remember, when someone is sick, they are at their weakest moment and need positive energy to get well.

Take turns deciding what the entertainment will be like the movie or TV program.


Surprise your mate with a special evening once in a while. Arrange with a friend to take the kids for a sleep over but do make sure you reciprocate the favor at a later time.

Make sure the house is super clean if you’re planning a love nest time at home and have his favorite meal prepared. Set a romantic tone with candles, his favorite scent, wine and music. Remember this is his special night.

Then sometime let him reciprocate by taking you out to your favorite restaurant. It’s special, little surprises and treats like this, that spark a marriage and keep the romance alive. But remember, it doesn't have to be expensive, for it’s the love and mutual respect that spark the marriage into a life commitment of fulfillment.

If you follow these simple marriage tips more than likely you will keep your marriage well tuned until ‘death does you part’. May the blessings of love be truly with you.

Hope this little advice helps someone today.  I know its always good to have a reminder!  We've made it through 8 years of marriage so far (some years great others tough, like this last one).  If you follow these tips above, I know they will help tremendously towards keeping your marriage strong!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Crazy & Lazy Days

With having two little toddler boys, I feel like I have a lot of roller coaster days & weeks that go all over the place.  One day all is well, the kids do mostly what they are told & I get more done that I expected --because you plan to do all these things but really know you are only going to get maybe 2-3 of them done.  Those are good days.  Great days are when you get 4, maybe 5 things on your "list"'s mommy nirvana!  I can sit & do something I want after the kids go to bed--those are the days.

I love & yearn for those days that come less often as I have two toddler boys in the house that are 18 months apart.  Yes, its full on crazy most days trying to keep up with their messes or staying with them outside to let them wreak havoc out there rather than in my home.  There is the daily "lock you in your playroom like its a detention center for toddlers."  Love that.  I either get to finish a chore my oldest can't help me with or finish my meal & coffee fill up.  I am lucky to get the kids clothed, fed twice (with a snack or two thrown in when they are "growing", like everyday), taught something do chores, to a nap (I do chores, they nap) & playing again.  Me time, I try to make myself get it during kids' nap time. Sometimes it happens & sometimes I don't get any "me" time until a hour after the kids fall asleep, not go to bed, fall asleep (sometimes that comes a bit after the "get back into bed/stop talking or yelling/no more banging or you're gonna regret it" line a couple times with appropriate discipline usually instilled).  So, yes, most days are crazy days with some great things that bring joy & others that bring frustration, maybe some anger from time to time.   

Then there are these days that come like a light at the end of the tunnel of endless crazy days.  The lazy day.  Now, this isn't always the weekend days.  No, those days usually get more crazy for mommy with another "male" in the house.  Don't get me wrong, the hubby does help out & he always takes poopy diaper duty on the weekends (THANK YOU!).    Lazy days are days when all is right with the "world" you live in here.  The chores are done, the house looks like normal people live in it not "noise with dirt on it" running around spreading mess everywhere they are able.  All the stars align & you have a chance to take a step back to breathe & enjoy life--to really see where you are at, maybe thank God for what you have.  Those days I need more than I receive right now, but as I learn to maintain my house better they are coming more frequently.  I am learning to maintain & do the work before I try to take a needed day for myself.   It becomes a true lazy day.

When I do what I can do, even when I feel not my best, I can step back & notice I don't have much to accomplish.  My days are free from worry when I need to take a breather.  I can truly relax.  So what I thought were lazy days used to be really "ignore the mountain of work & chores I have to do because I need to have some fun before I go crazy."  Those are rejuvenating because you know that you have to make the house clean tomorrow.  You can't relax, really relax, knowing the ton of work that greets you the next day.  With the idea of maintaining, I know I have a little to do everyday to keep things the way I want, so if I miss a day, its not the end of the world.  That is, as long as I do extra chores spread out the rest of the week.

So, are you being able to relax or are you just stopping the madness because you have to take time for yourself before you go crazy.  One of these is not ideal.  It just took me years to figure it out--hello to epiphany!  I was sick yesterday but I did everything in my ability & then prayed that God do the rest, so I could get some chores done.  By mid/late morning I was on my feet & ready to go, praise God, feeling much better.  I got just what I needed to get done.  I managed to have some "hubby & me time" doing an online MMO RPG we play together when we actually have free time.  So nice to not feel that nagging & reminders of all I have to do still while doing that game because it was all done for that day.  Anything else was what I was supposed to do tomorrow.

So, I guess this is a challenge....try to see how you can maintain rather than constantly run behind trying to catch up.  Maybe that's getting your kids & spouse involved more.  Maybe its working hard for a week or two & getting ahead, then starting daily chores & weekly chores.  Maybe that is starting a mommy cleaning club (group of moms take one week each month & rotate each week with who's house they help get cleaner) or hiring some help.  Whatever you need to do, try to find a way on top of the mess.  Its so much better up here!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

A Change of Scenery

If you read my latest post, you know I have been gone on vacation.  I was using it as recuperation & change of scenery to get my body, mind & soul back on track.  I've been a little off kilter for longer than I would like to admit.  In fact, I am not really certain when it started, all I know is I haven't felt like "me" for a long time.  I let it get so bad I fell into depression & spiraled down to where I had no motivation to do anything for myself or even for others.  I felt empty & it was something I never wanted to feel again.

Wow, how two weeks can change that!!!  Especially the last week at the ocean.

I got more exercise than I have gotten in 2-3 years combined from all the swimming, moving our luggage, walking & running with the kids.  It jumped me into getting back into shape & strangely revived my energy (even though I felt I was going to die the first few days).  I got a good cry in (sadly with thanks to my hubby & FIL being crabby) but I needed it so bad, I am sort of grateful for the situation.  I think I was extra sensitive due to all that has happened lately with the past year being so stressful on our marriage, not having the same contact with my family (out of choice but still not fun), having a dear friend pass away from his stage four cancer & other drama....It all came on so fast, especially last month.  I didn't have any time to cry & let it all out.  From church to packing fora trip to my birthday & fixing the issues that came up with the house, there was no time to sit down & let it out.  I stuffed it down & didn't know how to bring it back up.  I had felt my depression (I had successfully started to crawl out of it earlier in June) come back full swing & I was not happy.  SO glad to see what two weeks of change in atmosphere & place can do for a person (plus the added child watchers helped a bunch too)!

I got to go to the beach so many times & really get into the ocean but also spend time seeing my kids experience the sand & the waves.  By the time we left, our 3 year old was no longer scared of the waves, I felt much healthier, & we all left with a sense of being ready to be at home.

So I have now returned with a new vigor to keep things the way I want them to be in my house, but for me (not just for my hubby or my kids or the visitor I hide the clutter from).  I have been reading "The Joy of Being Disorganized" by Pam Young. You can guy the book here by clicking on this:  Joy of Being Disorganized.  Its been a huge help in understanding why my house goes from super clean to horribly messing is such a short time.  I am not done with it yet, so I will not post a book review until I have finished the book.

What joy & peace there was for the whole family to come home to a clean house!  No dishes to run, no items scattered all over & only some laundry to put away along with the items in our suitcase.  It was the first time this has happened before we left on a trip & then returned.  I am usually packing at the last minute & the house is a mess trying to get what I need in the car.  This time I packed starting a week early & left the last minute time for making sure things looked tidy, I didn't forget those last items, & doing a load of dishes.

I was so pleased at the condition of the home, I am frantically trying to get all of our items unpacked this  weekend so I can have a clean main part of the house & bedrooms.  Then, I can work on the half basement & getting homeschooling preparations complete.  Much of the prep for doing homeschooling is done, I mostly have to put the stuff away from my MIL & GIL, shop for some minor craft supplies & finish uniform/clothing shopping this upcoming weekend.

So, my goal is to take things one step at a time & be sure to set a schedule with good pacing for someone creative like me.  I think that is why I am looking forward to home school with my kids....the chance to use my creativity to teach them.  I will have to learn to meter it with house chores during their "quiet time" & naps.

Its been a long time since I felt this way, but I feel motivated & ready to get up & get going with life again.  I pray it will stay this way--that the changes will last.  I want to see my home at peace with joy & cleanliness & order.  I look forward to how this will unfold this year.

I will post pics of the little ones in my next post about my vacation details....I haven't gotten them all uploaded onto my computer yet...until then, enjoy these beach photos!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Time Goes By...

I know, I know....Its been years since I have written a blog here.  I could give you a list of excuses as long as the hallway through my house on why I haven't posted anything:  from extended family drama to having a 2nd kid 18 months after my first one & dealing with all the craziness of just understanding me now as I move completely from being responsible for me to being a mommy responsible day in & out for shaping the minds & actions of two little boys now into toddler-hood full swing.

BUT NO,  let's just say I've been on a leave of absence & maybe over the next months I will take time now to blog my thoughts of all that has transpired...not to get a pity party for me but to show you where I've been & what I have grown towards over the past couple years.

I want to give hope to those who feel beat down by life & even, maybe, by others (sometimes intentional & mostly--I hope--unintentional).  I hope that maybe sharing some of my struggles & successes will help you feel more like you are not alone in how you feel sometimes.  I want you to see you can get through whatever life throws in your face, even if you stumble & fall before you get up & keep going.  We all have those moments in life & we need to accept them, learn life's lesson & keep going a better person than we were before circumstances happen.

Now, before anyone speculates children are both well & healthy, my hubby & I just celebrated 8 yrs of marriage this past May despite the craziness of the past year & we are still living in the same place as we did since my last blog in 2011....all the major stuff hasn't changed or caused the break in my life....mostly its been an emotional journey for me that I must share along the way as I also talk about my day to day life now.

My oldest is moving into being home schooled in preschool this year & he has already voiced some personal goals I hope I can help him achieve including:  understanding how clocks & time works & learning to read.  This are advantageous goals but I don't want to discourage him from it if he really wants to here goes nothing in that area. He already knows his alphabet, some phonics, his numbers to 20, shapes & a few other things....oh & his potty training anniversary is in October!!!  Its amazing how much they learn in the first 3 years of life--it astounds me & amazes me!

My younger little boy is just learning to talk & has been learning quickly how to express wants but not to good at understanding that sometimes expression of what we want doesn't mean its going to happen (like wanting to go "outside" the moment we wake up. Seriously!  Its "Hello, my mommy..........GO OUTSIDE?!").  I think we are 2 of the 3 indicators that potty training will happen soon....just looking for that interest in no longer being in diapers & we are a "go."  

I am still, obviously, a stay at home mom, & mostly loving it (though some days I want to run away screaming, but that's just what life can be like sometimes).  I may not always have a clean house or be the perfect mommy, but I am learning how to succeed in this one day at a time...and that's all I can do, be better the next day.

So, I leave you with this & hope to see that people take something from this.  I will be going on a much needed vacation (more on that when I get back in 2 weeks) so expect to see a new post in a couple of weeks here.

Blessings to all of you & enjoy this life!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Monday Madness

After a tiring weekend, I rested & now feel refreshed.  So glad I did NOTHING on Sunday.  That's what happens when you mow all morning without sunscreen...I had to sleep off the sunburn--which is something I'm not used to dealing with because I normally don't burn.  Ugh!  Thank God my hubby got the kitchen in order so I don't feel so overwhelmed, which I have lately.

I feel much better today.  Partly because I am getting more things done due to not feeling overwhelmed anymore & partly I think because I started taking Evening Primrose Oil again...I take 2-3 a day & it seems to be helping me with all the hormones.  The good thing is that this does not effect baby like antidepressant have been found to, so bonus!  I am taking a couple other herbal helpers (but not St. John's Wort, that's the only one you can't take while breastfeeding).  So, I think its helping me some too.  I don't feel like my emotions are getting the better of me, nor do  I feel easily irritated. 

Its madness without some way to calm yourself.  I found out lack of family support (meaning they are near by to help) and being at home with a fussy baby all contribute to mood issues that can lead to postpartum depression.  Booo,....I'm going to combat it BEFORE its full blown depression.  I am going to continue to remind myself that I can do this & to take the supplements.  Plus, eating well helps.  Thank God baby is starting to be more settled, though we still have "trouble" days (like today & yesterday).  We get through them & move on.

Its not easy reworking your schedule around a new little one, but I'm finding that slinging him some of the day is helping & then also giving him some "baby alone" time helps him too.  Who knew!  I'm finding that being overly worried something is going to happen to him & being like a hawk always hovering isn't healthy for me or baby....First, I don't get done what I need & I don't take care of myself.  Second, my baby can move his head out of the way & he is strong...  Third, baby will cry out or just plain cry if he needs something & there is nothing wrong with letting him express a need with noise, so long as I don't ignore it too long & I answer with what he needs.  Sometimes that is just me being there for a bit.  :)

Its like this intricate dance you know nothing about that you have to figure out the steps to as it morphs & changes during the song.  Sometimes you get it & it all works out nice & sometimes you are tripping over your feet trying to figure out what to do.  In the end, you have a joyous & fun time figuring out the whole mess of the dance and its OK because no one expects you to completely figure out something like that right off the bat....You do find patterns & some consistency once you have heard the song enough that you can recognize when the next steps are going to change, sometimes you even know way ahead & are prepared, but other times the change is so quick you can't keep up even after you feel you know what's going on.  And that's just how it is with a baby. 

Speaking of that, my dear son is now awake & crying out for me...time to go "dance!"

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tipful Thursdays

Hello ladies...It sure takes a while to get things in order after having a baby!  Its been two months since my DS's (Dear Son) birth & I'm finally getting the time to blog today.

How exciting its been (and tiring) learning all about how to care for this new life as a mommy.  My little man is finally sleeping at 5-6 hour stretches at night, so I am getting to sleep actually rather than just nap, which has helped me with being able to actually function a bit more normally the past few days.  I'm hoping this keeps up.

One thing that has gone down the drain is the house.  Not quite the domestic diva I would like to be, but I am sure that will come back with time.  Just got to get my stamina back as I am able to sleep better & get us on a schedule. 

Its amazing how one moment you are free and the next you have to run off to "save the day" for your little baby.  It can make doing anything take 2-3X as long to complete.  Its shocking to realize just how big a change that a baby brings to a marriage & family.

I can't wait to really get all this down so I feel more normal again.  I know its possible to get all this done, its getting the strength back & mental with-to-it-ness to be able to focus on something other than baby & then yourself all day.

So here's to readjusting so I can be a domestic diva again!  However long it takes, I'm ready to get this going again!  :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Monday Monday

The past couple weeks have been a game of "is the baby coming or not right now"  combined now with the worst constipation & gas I've ever experienced!  Sorry for the TMI, but I'm sure I'm not the only 39/40 week pregnant lady who has had to deal with this!

I hope you all are doing well & enjoying this Valentine's Day!  My hubby already has been such a stalwart for me this weekend, anything he does today will be icing on the cake...I bet he wishes he knew that now.  Maybe I will tell him when he comes home tonight from work & running errands to get me what I need to stay "regular."  What a patient, caring, tender & loving man I am married to; he isn't perfect, but he's shown me that when I really need him, he's going to do all he can.  He even did some gross things that I expected him to want me to do. 

I have learned something very important & life changing for this Domestic Diva about how to stay motivated.  You see, before I would get all hyped & psyched   up on adrenalin & caffeine in order to get a bunch done.  This led to a couple of days of tons of work & catch up, but exhaustion always ensues with a lack of motivation along with it.  Last week, I did something new....its something I HAD to do to have things go well with the upcoming birth:  RELAX...

I'm not talking like sleeping & just not doing anything.  I"m talking taking time to put some stress relief music on, sit down & do relaxing breathing exercises & focus on the Bible, God & me.  I sat there for two hours until I finally learned what it felt like to be calm.  It was an amazingly energizing task.  I would've thought I wanted to nap after doing that, but no! I got up, left the music on & with much calmness & methodical movement, got my work done.  I didn't feel rushed/frazzled or panicky like I normally do.  It felt so much better to be calm doing chores & handling situations.  I found myself not panicking when I was clumsy (I found I was also less clumsy).  I didn't run around trying to rush to get things done, I took my time & they still got done fast!  I also found myself feeling tons better when I was done & needed to rest.  I could just go rest & not have to wind down from "pumping myself up."  I had the most fabulous nap afterward with the music still on. When some not so great things happened, I was able to handle it & calm down from the frustration & anger very quickly.  Usually I have already "worked" myself up into a frenzy as a motivator & so I get upset easily & don't handle conflict or frustrating situations in that state. 

What a difference finding God's peace deep within made for me!  I don't think I EVER want to try the other way again!  That habit was caught by my mother from example & it is horrible for you!  Even with all that happened this weekend, I feel soooo much better being calm through it than I did the first weekend of February & its frustrations of false labor.  So, I rest my case...I'm done with the old way of trying to handle life & how I'm motivated.  This Domestic Diva is got a new plan....CALMNESS & focusing on God's peace.  Its good for me, its great for baby (now & once he's here soon) and its makes my hubby's life easier & more pleasant.  Why did I wait so long to try this?  It took me HAVING to do it for me to realize this....its sad it took this long, but I'm so glad I have a new way of going about my day & even my life.

So, I hope this helps some ladies out need to find a way to relax, not fake relaxing from distracting yourself with entertainment or hobbies--real relaxing.  The kind where you are calm & at peace with God & who you are.  That you feel your best & that life will not end if everything isn't perfect.  All that matters is you do your best & you can't do your best all panicky & hyper.  Take time to reflect on yourself, saying positive things about you & your situations--give yourself the right to have a tiny moment for just you.  It may seem counterproductive, but it really isn't.  A calm person creates a calm home & things get done....people want to help & it brings a spirit of peace for the whole household.  I can even tell a difference in my cats since I've been calm.  Please take time to try this out....take as long as you need the first few times.  If you are used to being uptight, it can take a looong time to really relax, but it seems to get easier on a very quick curve after the first few times.  In fact, you can calm yourself without having to do the whole ordeal if you get frustrated about something--you just are able to stop yourself better when it starts as a new habit...So, don't hesitate to do this, it may be the one thing you've been desperately needing (like me)!!