Tag Archives: kids

A Thankful Heart | Day 7.

I know I’ve said family already but for today I want to focus on my children:

Eman & ZigZag

There are no words to express all of the emotions that go along with Mommyhood. It’s a whole new world that is constantly changing. If you have more than one child, the milestones reached with the oldest are not necessarily how things will happen when the youngest reaches those same milestones. It is amazing to me how incredibly dissimilar yet alike my boys are. They both have fairly happy dispositions most of the time. Yet, even when they’re happy there’s such a difference of expression from one to the other.

I have learned more about myself in the last seven {and a half!} years than I’ve probably learned in the last thirty combined. New ways of teaching, giving, receiving. There just aren’t words enough to express how much I love these little dudes and how drastically they’ve changed my life {for the better!}.

ZigZag will make up little songs that say, “I love you Mommy” in them.

Eman will come up as though he has something very serious to say and then wink at me before giving me the biggest hug.

To quote the movie Something’s Gotta Give “They make me want to be a better person”.

I just love them!

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Ten Day Challenge. Day 6.

So, way over on my facebook page a friend challenged me to a 10 day challenge. Normally I won’t do these things but this one piqued my interest. It’s a quite a bit different than your normal “challenges”. At least what’s considered normal for Facebook these day! :)

Here’s the rules:

Day One: Ten things you want to say to ten different people right now.

Day Two: Nine things about yourself.

Day Three: Eight ways to win your heart.

Day Four: Seven things that cross your mind a lot.

Day Five: Six things you wish you’d never done.

Day Six: Five people who mean a lot (in no order whatsoever)

Day Seven: Four turn offs.

Day Eight: Three turn ons.

Day Nine: Two smileys that describe your life right now.

Day Ten: One confession.

Here’s my Day 6 –

Five people who mean a lot:

1. Eman & ZigZag. Yes, I’m cheating and putting two very different people on the same answer. Mainly because they are equally important to me. Everything I do or don’t do is because of them and reflects on them in many ways.

2. My parents. Yes, another 2 for 1 answer. Regardless of the times we disagree, my parents are the only ones who’ve been there for me in everything. I may not always like (or even solicit) their advice but I know they love me and they only want what’s best.

3. My friends. Who keep me sane and drive me crazy all at once. Who remind me of who I am and encourage me to listen to God’s voice when everyone else’s voices are overwhelming.

4. My brother and his wife. My brother is one of the most perceptive, intuitive people I’ve ever known and I’ve learned the hard way to follow his suggestions. His wife is gorgeous and balances him very well and along with becoming a good friend she is my sister and I love them both!

5. My Jesus. And before you argue that He’s not real, or He died on a cross, or He lived thousands of years ago – let me just tell you He is as real as you or me if not more so. And if you don’t believe, I suggest you try getting to know him and then tell me just how real He is in your life.

 


Ten Day Challenge. Day 4.

So, way over on my facebook page a friend challenged me to a 10 day challenge. Normally I won’t do these things but this one piqued my interest. It’s a quite a bit different than your normal “challenges”. At least what’s considered normal for Facebook these day! :)

Here’s the rules:

Day One: Ten things you want to say to ten different people right now.

Day Two: Nine things about yourself.

Day Three: Eight ways to win your heart.

Day Four: Seven things that cross your mind a lot.

Day Five: Six things you wish you’d never done.

Day Six: Five people who mean a lot (in no order whatsoever)

Day Seven: Four turn offs.

Day Eight: Three turn ons.

Day Nine: Two smileys that describe your life right now.

Day Ten: One confession.

Here’s my Day  4 –

Seven things that cross my mind:

1. Children. Mine. Other peoples. Orphans. How I can be a better mom and how to instill a love and passion in my own children for the children of the world? For those who don’t have Mommy’s and Daddy’s, Sister’s and Brothers, Aunts and Uncles. Those who don’t have Jesus and don’t have anyone to tell them how much He loves them.

2. Worship music. There is nothing greater than being in complete abandon to the One, our Saviour, who gave His all so we wouldn’t have to. I almost always have worship music playing and if it’s not playing I’m singing.

3. Prayer. I need to be doing more of this – especially in these days. In English and in the Holy Spirit. More for my kids and my family and friends. More for my church and other Christians in the world who are being persecuted. More for the US and our government – especially because I don’t agree with the majority of things happening right now politically. For direction and wisdom. For strength. I also need to keep encouraging my boys in prayer and making sure they know how to pray. I’ve not been great at this lately.

4. Photography. My thoughts run more to how I can improve this exponentially because it is something I so enjoy doing. Even more than that, how can I use this to tell the story of other people’s lives? To bring to attention those who’ve been forgotten, and those who people choose to ignore.

5. Writing. That dream I’ve had for ages and want to do something about. November is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and I very much wanted to participate but knowing I couldn’t give it my full attention – not like I would want to anyway – I didn’t write one word. I fully believe that the dreams and desires we have are from God and so it’s hard for me sometimes when I think how God gave me a gift and a desire that I’m not using.

6. Focus. I’m not focused. I’m constantly multi-tasking a million things at once. Things at work. Things at home. Things with the boys. Even now, as I’m typing this I’m also editing pictures and carrying on several conversations. I would love to be able to focus on just one thing at a time so I can make sure it’s done with the quality it deserves. I enjoy getting things done quickly and multi-tasking allows that but there are so many times when I need just a little bit more time to get things done. I’m not a fan of short deadlines.

7. School. This ties into #6 somewhat because the thing I would like to focus most on right now – aside from my boys obviously – is getting back into school and finishing my degree. There are so many factors and variables involved here that at the moment I’m praying for direction and waiting on God’s timing.


Worth.

When I was 16 I spent a month, with a ministry team, travelling to various parts of Mexico. From Mexico City to the teeniest, most remote mountain villages. In that time there were many things that stuck out to me, both from our preparation time prior to the trip and in our time actually spent in ministry. One of the most important things I learned was not to ask how much something costs but to ask how much it is worth.

I makes me wonder about us, as humans. How much do we value ourselves? And are we doing ourselves justice or are we just settling for what we think might be our best offer? Or our last offer? Not just that, but how much stock do we put in other people’s opinion of ourselves when God’s opinion of us is the only one that truly matters?

Several months ago I made this statement my status update on Facebook, “Having high standards doesn’t mean being high-maintenance. It means I know my worth.”. Many of my friends put that in the “dating” box but reality is that’s it’s true in every aspect of life.
Do you know what you’re worth?
God does.
You are worth so much to God that he sacrificed HIS ONLY SON so that your life might be spared from the perils of Hell.
Think about that for a minute. Could you sacrifice your child to save someone else’s life? I have two sons and there is no way I could choose one over the other. Nor could I let go of one to save someone else. But God did. Because He loves you that much.
The story of Abraham and Isaac in the Bible (Genesis 22) where God told Abraham to sacrifice  Isaac to him as if he were a lamb. Abraham loved and trusted God so much that he didn’t argue. They got their stuff together and set out on their journey. Every time Isaac asked where the lamb for their sacrifice Abraham replied, “God will provide one”. Jehova Jireh. God my provider. Abraham got as far as getting Isaac laid out on the altar and ready to kill him when God stopped him and gave a ram for sacrificed instead. Abraham never doubted God would provide as long as he followed God’s plan.
God loves us so much that He allowed His son to be beaten and nailed to a cross so that we might live an everlasting life.

Thinking.

As I scan over a few blogs I frequently visit and blogs that friends have posted I’m overwhelmed by the realization that most of them are full of sadness. Don’t get me wrong. There are moments of joy and laughter told throughout the blogs, but in nearly every instance the blogs were created out of devastating circumstances. Another random glance of blogs shows that blogs are created out of anger or as a means of venting. While I understand this, I’m not sure I’d post something in anger for the world to read (I personally vent into Word documents!).

Flipside.

I’m not saying there’s anything wrong in creating a blog for these reasons. Believe me, I’m the last person to judge why anyone else would do what they do. The most heart wrenching blogs I see are those created by parents whose child is going through something and they’re asking for prayer while at the same time updating everyone on the situation.

Flipside. (yes, again!)

On the whole asking for prayer thing, I’ve heard so many people say that it’s wrong to ask for prayer in a blog. Usually the reasoning behind this is that if the person writing the blog is a Christian then they should be able to pray for themselves and their family. At the same time there are those who say that the Bible says “1 can put a 1000 to flight and 2 can put 10,000 to flight” so why is there a need for more than 2 people praying? And then again, there’s the one’s who say that people who ask for prayer have no faith – how can they when Jesus said “he who as faith even as small as a mustard seed”? And a mustard seed is really stinking small.

Think of it this way though, if you’re a parent who’s child is stricken with some horrible disease or if there’s a sudden, life-changing event in your family how would you handle it? Sure, you’d pray and plead. Maybe cry and get angry. You’d also become mentally and emotionally drained. And, let’s be honest, you’re going to be so focused on “fixing” everything that while you may still pray, your focus will be split. Having other people to surround you with prayer, to surround your family with prayer, to pray when you can’t … those prayers make all the difference. That doesn’t mean that the prayers of the people actually going through the difficult situation don’t count. They do. But it’s also encouraging to know that there are people praying for you when you’re not strong enough to pray for yourself.

I don’t have all the answers. If I did, I’d be God and believe me when I say that is one job I definitely DO NOT want! I don’t even have most of the answers, but I have the answer. There’s a story in the Bible where a man asks Jesus for something and Jesus says, “do you believe?” to which the man responds, “I want to believe” and that was enough. I think that’s pretty much the equivalent of wanting to pray and not being able to, whether from exhaustion (physical, mental, and emotional) or from something else. Those are the times we need to be carried.

The last few months have been kind of draining for me, and for my family albeit in different ways. First there was the whole changing jobs, getting used to a new schedule, and all the things that go with that.

Then there was the meningitis outbreak at the school. This has been the most draining part. We lost students. Another student is still under going multiple surgeries and recovery programs. And, with all of the media mess – with their half-truths and ignorance, we lost a really awesome principal. And there’s the thought that that could have been my child. The first few months after this started were the worst. There were daily, nearly hourly, reminders that my son could have been one of the victims. Then school let out for summer and it hasn’t been anywhere near as prominent in my mind. But, there are times when I feel almost guilty that my kids are both so very healthy.  I know, however, that my children are children of God, heirs with Jesus, part of a chosen generation. And I know, that even with all that the world can throw at them that there are angels surrounding them, guarding them, and protecting them at ALL times.  I also know that I have to continually “let go” and say, “We’ve got angels around us – go be kids”. No evil shall befall us, no weapon formed against us will prosper because we are children of God.

Some blogs I follow regularly:

http://www.whatbeautifulsimplicity.blogspot.com/

http://jennifer-thecolorfullife.blogspot.com/

http://jeremiahmitchell.com/

http://www.makenziesmiracle.org/2009/03/my-journey-to-healing.html

http://www.asecondmiracle.blogspot.com/

http://mycharmingkids.net/


God Said It.

Okay. I know I said I wasn’t going to post anything new until I finished up the rest of the drafts I have started but there’s something weighing on my mind. Besides, I’m down to just 4 drafts left anyway. As my kids say, “easy – peasy”!

There’s a misconception surrounding some things in my life. Most people assume that because I’m the one who filed for divorce that it didn’t bother me at all to actually go through it. That’s false in so many ways that that topic alone would be enough fodder for one post in and of itself so I’m not going into it here. What I am going to dwell on this time around are some things I have learned in the last 2.5 years since it was final, most especially the last 6 months or so.

Have you ever notice that it’s so easy to do many things by ourselves but when it comes to church most people cop out because they don’t want to be alone?

Late last summer and into the fall God told me that the boys and I need to be back at Rhema for church. More often than not last year we were not in church which truly bothered me. Between my insane work and school schedules, E’s soccer schedule, and the fact we live 45 minutes to an hour away from most churches the boys like we were rarely able to go. I told God that if He really wanted us back at Rhema He needed to provide the time and a job that gave me that time and would still let me raise my boys.

The holiday season drew closer and if you know anything about being a photographer you know that any holiday is going to be crazy, especially Christmas. Rather than getting more time to be able to drive into Broken Arrow I was working more and more. Between school and work I think my parents saw so much more of my kids than I did. I can’t even begin to count the number of times I would come home only to hug and kiss them goodnight and send them to bed, an hour or two past their bedtime. At least with working for myself I could plan my hours, working for someone else put me at their beck and call and meant that I worked every holiday.

Things at work went from bad to worse. I ended up putting school on hold for the Spring 2010 semester so that my girls at work (and my customers) would have some stability with all the changes that were happening. We lost 1 manager to maternity leave and 1 to a job transfer. In the midst of all of the details involved things got so bad that I was given no choice but to give my notice and leave. No, I wasn’t fired. I just would have spent more money on babysitters than I would have made which is not a good thing. So, I left. On the same day I left so did two of my girls and what had been a fantastically great thing came to an end.

Right around the same time all of this was happening, I interviewed for a job working with my best friend. Several days later I went back for a second interview and was hired. All in all, I spent about 5 days in between jobs and felt like I’d had a mini-vacation. I got to go to nearly all of Winter Bible Seminar which was a huge thing. with my new job, I’m working more of a M-F “bankers hours” schedule so to speak. I also somehow managed to join the choir part of the Easter production “The Choice” performed at Rhema over Easter weekend – mainly so my oldest son could also be in the play.

Since January the boys and I have been back at Rhema. It wasn’t easy going alone at first and still isn’t super easy but I’m getting used to it. I’ve met some very nice people over the last few months. And with a church as big as Rhema it’s very easy to sit in the same place every service and yet not see the same people around you twice.

I have always been a people person, for as long as I can remember anyway. But with the divorce I learned not only some things about myself but who my real friends were/are. In short, my world became very small. I’ve spent the last 2.5 years or so raising my boys and figuring out me, trying to at least. Figuring out when I was most happy and the things that I like to do because I like them not because everyone else does and I tolerate them. One of things the struck me as a “happy time” was volunteering in church, both at Rhema and Victory. That was when I was most “me”.

But, the “me” now has been afraid to go back to the “me” then because that means stepping out of my little world that I’ve become so comfortable in. Taking that huge step and getting back to the basics, going home so to speak. Rhema is after all the reason my family moved to Oklahoma to begin with. I was content, too content, and would have just kept going on the same path I had been on. Not destructive or anything like that just complacent and settled.

But, I did it. I took the huge step of getting out of myself and stepping back onto familiar territory surrounded by unfamiliar faces. I did it because God said to. And you know what, I’m so much happier now that I’m “home” and my kids actually enjoy going to church. God knows what He’s talking about!


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