Wednesday, February 27, 2013

I Have a Confession......

I have a confession to make. I am not supermom. There I said it. Whew- what a relief! Now you all know that I am just like you! I can't do it all. And I don't expect myself too. And somedays I fail miserably. But I get up the next day and keep going. My sink is FULL of dishes and I haven't cooked supper all week but I have spent lots of time with my family. So I am okay with it. My house will never be spotlessly clean and I gave up on seeing the end of the laundry a LONG time ago. But my kids know that they are loved. I am not one of those get in the floor and play dress up with your kids moms (mainly because I have boys) but I do occasionally play legos and we do get out and play ball together. I have always read to them and therefore I cannot understand these 2 that don't like to read. And I seriously dislike cooking. I like to bake but I don't like to cook. Well I take that back. I like to cook I don't like the clean up that comes with it. But I will make tacos any night of the week that my kids ask for it. And as a homeschooling mom, I have days that I just don't want to do it. So we take a day off and make up the work the next day. And on those days we go have adventures. But I am definitely not a "teacher". And I accept that and we muddle on through. But spending all this extra time with my kids has benefited all of us. We are all growing as a family. And I am enjoying (90% of the time- 10% is fighting and whining) soaking up the ages that they are and the personalities that they have right now. And let's face I am getting time with them that I can't get back later. I accept my limitations and I actually am proud of them because back when I tried to be supermom- working full time, trying to keep a spotless house, and spend time with the kids and my husband- I was miserable. Once I accepted that something had to give for all of us to be happy and spend time with each other I gave and we are enjoying our lives so much more. My kids won't remember the state of our house when they get older but they will remember the memories that we are busy making. And that makes all of it worth it.

Linking up today with Kayse and the rest of our In(RL) group. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Dreams Coming True is Inspiration to Others

Our assignment this week was to pick someone who has inspired us by reaching for their dreams. I really had a hard time coming up with this one. But not because of the reason you may think. Because it is such an emotional story for me. Have you seen the movie "The 5th Quarter"? I love this movie. But I also love this family. See I grew up in Powder Springs. I went to McEachern High School. We all knew these boys from football. Rachel is literally one of the sweetest people you will ever meet. The Abbate family dreamed that Luke's story would touch millions. And it has. The story is one that will touch even the hardest heart. Luke left football practice one day with some friends and was then killed in a car accident. The Abbate's decided to donate Luke's organs to save the life of others. After Jon returned to school he struggled with his brother's death and eventually decided to start playing football not only for himself but also for Luke. He changed his number and Wake Forest started calling the 4th quarter the 5th quarter. This family turned to God for healing and decided to tell their story to raise awareness not of drunk driving but of teenage reckless driving, of organ donation, and also to show the power of God in their lives. I watch the movie with tears streaming down my face everytime. I know these people. My heart aches with their loss. I am proud to know that a community I grew up in rallied together for this family when they needed them. I am proud to promote this movie with my heart behind it. If you haven't seen the movie I really want you to watch it. To find out more about it you can go here. And if you want to help them with furthering their dreams of using Luke's story to save others, you can visit The Luke Abbate 5th Quarter Foundation.  

Hug your children,love them, you never know when your last moment is. And consider being an organ donor. You can help save lives.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

"Desperate"- Chapters 10 and 11

Today we are starting section 3- “The Redeeming”. That means we are almost done. Only 3 weeks left including this week. How are you doing? Are you enjoying the book? Let me know what you would change about the series and how I could make it better. I really mean that. I can't write a blog for you if I don't know what is working and what is not. So please let me know!
Chapter 10
Motherhood is all about figuring it out. How it works for your family and how your child function. And I almost hate to tell you this but as soon as you get it figured out it will change. Because “with each season comes change, a new set of challenges, and many blessings.... Each age has new challenges, but I'm learning the ways of motherhood as I go, and I'm also gaining tremendous perspective and even wisdom.” (SM pg 120) But those constant changes will also cause you to grow along with your child. Have you ever noticed that when you teach a class that you will always learn something new, it is the same age with each child in each different stage. That is the way it works. Each child is different, so even the veteran mom of 3 kids will have a new experience with the 4th. All these changes also brings up the statement that “it is truly a myth to think that any woman can do it all.” (SC pg 121). I have 4 boys and have actually been called supermom by some friends. And while that makes me feel good I also feel like if they ever saw the behind the scenes and what doesn't get done or what I let slide they wouldn't really think that anymore. But by letting some things slide (like wearing socks with shoes when you are already running late) and not always getting everything on the to do list done is how I survive. And since I love my children to the point that I would give my life for them, I think that they will survive the house not always being clean. “If you inhabit the role as a mother primarily from love, you will see God's hand moving in every part of your life. … If you love well, you will influence your children, and your love will cover over many inadequacies” (SC pg 122). And that is true. If you love your children unconditionally they will forgive a lot of mistakes that you make. They will probably always remember the burnt cookies but they will turn it into a fun memory and not make you feel bad about it.
Here is where I kind of got mad at the author Sally Clarkson. She says on page 122 “The ability to last in motherhood requires giving up expectations for our own lives, deciding that sacrificing our desires and wants for the sake of our family is our gift of worship to our heavenly father.” Yes I believe that motherhood takes sacrifice and it takes it everyday. But you also have to remember that there will be a day when all your children are all grown up and not living with you. You have to have an identity. I know a couple who threw themselves into being parents so much that when all their children were gone they seperated. They eventually got back together but they had to learn who they were again. They didn't have an identity outside of mom and dad. So I believe that you have to keep some of your desires going. You have to have an identity. Some desires may have to be put on hold but don't ever lose them completely. Your children can also learn from your dreaming.
That being said, Sally Clarkson goes on to say that “following the example of Jesus in submitting our own will to God's doesn't mean we are called to live miserable lives where we punish our selves through denial of anything good” (pg 123). “When I am in the prescence of someone who really walks with God, there is evidence of life, joy, goodness, well-being, grace, and faith. When one is washed with the unconditional love, grace, and mercy of God, the resul is peace and thankfulness of heart” (SC pg 123). We can love like Christ and we can follow his example without being completely miserable. Because we are more likely to drive others away from Christ by being miserable than we are to draw them closer because we are happy and content and living for him everyday. Sally Clarkson ends the chapter by saying “I have learned that if I sow love, I will reap love, and it will be a blessing to me in return” (pg 126). If you love, you will be loved, and you will be happy through it. The scriptures for this chapter are 2 Corinthians 5:17 and Isaiah 43:18-19

Chapter 11

This chapter is titled “All the Voices That Influence Us”. This chapter actually came at an interesting point during my God Sized Dream journey (tune in Tuesdays!). I have a lot of people, including myself, with a lot of opinions around me, and it was getting very discouraging. So to come up on this chapter right then was great timing. They really only mention 3 types of voices but all are relevant to everyone. The are the “whispers of lies” (SM pg 129). “These are the hissings of the age-old garden snake trying to distact you from the truth” (SM pg 130). There are the “voices of expectation” (SM pg 130). “The 'I expect' voice is the killer of joy and true contentment” (SM pg 132). And then “there is only one voice that matters, and that is God's” (SM pg 133). Sally Clarkson gives 4 ways to listen to the one voice who matters and ignore the others on pages 138 and 139. They are:
1. “Follow the voice of Jesus”
2.“Study God's word and ponder Jesus' behavior”
3.Give yourself “Freedom to be yourself”
4.”Live and Love by Faith”

The scriptures for this chapter are Proverbs 29:25 and Romans 12:21.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Bad Behavior and All- You Are Not Alone (a Marriage and Mommyhood post)

It is funny how since reading “Desperate” every day I find a small reminder that I am not alone in feeling like I am failing. Take today. I have been attempting since 8 AM to get my children to write papers that we have to mail to their teachers first of next week. All I want today is their rough drafts, that's it. It is now 5:15 PM and between the two of them we have maybe 6 sentences written. We have only moved from this table to go to Grandma's so I could take the oldest one to the dentist. And they wrote while they were at her house. One child just looked at me and told me, “maybe if you were a better mom I would do this paper. But if I could I would fire you.” Hmmmmm. Surprisingly this didn't hurt my feelings. He has said worse to me. But he is also where 95% of my feelings of failure come from. He hates writing but the paper has to be handwritten. He hates to read but he had to read to do the research that comes with the paper. He hates to sit still but he has to to get the paper done. And he hates me but he is stuck with me all day since we homeschool. He has discipline problems obviously but absolutely NOTHING works with him. He doesn't care if he gets put in timeout, you can take what ever you want from him and he could care less, and you can spank him and he will laugh at you. He is very hard headed. VERY. But I just wake up and hand it to God everyday and then I see where other people have the same problems and I just feel comfort. Because he only behaves like this for me. No one else. When he was at school he was an angel for his teachers but he wasn't getting enough one on one attention to completely grasp what he needed too. This past 6 months has honestly made a ton of difference academically. But his attitude and behavior have taken a nose dive towards the bad. And he isn't the only one. I am not alone. Other kids do it too. I am priviledged because he is mine. And I love him with all my heart. But some days I really want to drop him off at an orphanage and keep driving.

And then there are the days where everything just goes wrong. Nobody can find clean clothes even though you just filled their drawers the day before. No one can find their shoes when you are already running late. Or you come home from the grocery store where your potty training 2 year old BEGS you to let him pee off the front porch and you say “sure” only to have him poop in the middle of the walkway instead. Or when it rains for 3 days straight and your yard is flooded spilling over into the pump causing you to not be able to drink the water so you have to only have bottled water only to forget and at 5 AM make a pot of coffee that you have to throw out after a night of little sleep worrying about how badly you are failing at this God given task. I could go on and on. But I know that I am not alone. All I have to do is log on to Facebook or email a friend and I have someone else who completely understands. We have community for this reason. God made us to need it. Otherwise we would all give up.

And please realize that I do not accept my child's bad behavior. But I also have bigger fish to fry. I have 4 boys. I have learned to pick my battles. And we are trying a new way to get through all of this. We are trying to talk it out. This isn't going smoothly but we are trying. And overall if he can treat other adults with as much respect as he does and treat me like he does, that is okay. At least he behaves in public (most of the time). And if my child at least asks to go to the bathroom and then poops on the porch I can clean that up. At least he is trying not to use his diaper. God made me to be the mom that these kids need. Whether they respect that or not is up to them. But one day they will look back and know how much I loved them. And no matter what my child tells me he loves me. Because he always comes and hugs me and tells me so no matter what he just said to me.

And above all- I am not alone because I have an amazing father in God and an amazing savior in Jesus. And as long as I have them I can do anything. 

Marriage & Mommyhood
Linking up today with Kayse and Rebecca.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Taking the Step TODAY

Don't put of for tomorrow what you can accomplish today. I have heard that phrase all my life. And yet I still have a tendency to put things off. All the time. But when it comes to God Sized Dreams you can't keep putting it off. It isn't going anywhere and it's going to get louder the more you put it off. God is going to keep it right there in front of you over and over until you finally take the steps towards it and grab hold. When I first applied to be a part of Holley's Dream Team my dream looked a lot different then it does today. And that was only 3 months ago. But the more I journey in this dream and the more I try to really figure it out the more it changes shape. I took the step in January and started a blog dedicated to my dream of encouraging other moms in their journey of motherhood and their walk with God. I didn't keep putting it off. I took the leap. I also started a manuscript for a book that I have always dreamed of writing only to find that the words weren't there. I have lots of crazy stories about motherhood with 4 boys but I can't get them down on paper. And once I started writing it I honestly felt God telling me not right now. I am drawn to dedicate more time to this blog and encouraging others. I am drawn to step out of my comfort zone and submit posts to other "bigger" blogs as a guest. I don't know where this road will go but I am going to follow it. I also feel drawn to spend more time with my boys and less time on the computer and in my virtual world of Facebook and Twitter. After all, how am I supposed to encourage you as a mother if I am neglecting my own children. I know that dreams morph, the become what God wants them to be. You just have to stay on that path and keep walking. Keep putting one foot in front of the other and stay with God. God will tell you where to go and when but don't be like Moses and have every excuse in the book to ignore his prompting. Grab hold of his outstretched hand and follow him. Take the step today and quit putting it off for tomorrow.

Linking up today with Holley Gerth and the rest of the "Dream Team"

Monday, February 18, 2013

A Couple of Random Thoughts

Just a couple of random thoughts from this weekend.
1. I watched "My Sister's Keeper" from beginning to end for the first time yesterday with my mother-in-law. Incredibly sad movie BUT I was so mad at the mom by the end that is all I really took away from the movie. I have 4 children and I can't imagine sacrificing one so that another could live. The mother in this movie never thought twice about sacrificing her 11 year old for the sake of her other daughter. She was willing to take everything from her and let's be honest that was the only reason she had her in the first place. I actually turned to my mother-in-law at one point and asked her "So if the older one needed a heart do you think that mom would think twice about offering up the younger one's?" And yes, I know it was a movie. But the complete lack of love and concern for that one child was just infuriating.

2. Mindy Mcready (the country singer) committed suicide yesterday leaving behind a 6 year old and a 10 month old. Seriously! You are a mom! You don't come first anymore. What did you do to those children? Of course the older one will go live with his dad but what about the baby who now has 2 parents who didn't love him enough to stay on this earth. It just makes me mad. And no I don't know them but as a mom my thoughts would have been about my boys and what they needed not that I was missing my dead boyfriend so I decided to kill myself and leave my 2 helpless children without a mother.

3. There is a Twitter party tonight for Overcoming the Lie! Use the hashtag #overcomingthelie and join us at 9 P.M./ EST. And stay tuned for March 4th when the blog tour will be stopping here!!!!! I am really excited.

4. I am in Mamabear mode today. I don't know if it was from the movie yesterday and then that person killing themselves but I just am.

HAVE A GREAT MONDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Getting Organized- Closets

So I cleaned out my closet last week. It was kind of scary. I don't even know how I fit all that stuff in there! I took all the clothes out and went through them, same with the shoes, I have a couple (well 4) Rubbermaid boxes full of pictures and scrapbooking supplies waiting to be moved. And of course the lockboxes with all the important papers and flash drives with our backed up pictures. I sorted through the clothes and took out everything that was too small (I really wish I could say too big :() and packed them up in labeled Rubbermaids to go to the storage building and then went to hanging clothes back up. My husband HATES my system. Of course our clothes are divided up by person. But then it is jackets/sweaters, tops, pants/skirts, dresses and or suits. And unfortunately even with all I did get rid of we still have too many clothes to fit in our closet. But the majority of those were scrubs that I don't want to pack up or get rid of because who knows when I will need them. So right now they are draped over other rubbermaid boxes sitting waiting to be moved. I went through all of our shoes (you know how this goes you have 20 pairs and he has 3) and actually got rid of a few pairs and then put them back in paired up with the flip flops/ ballet flats/ Sanuks in a basket standing up. (You can never have too many shoes). And then in went the lockboxes (because where else would you keep them). Now you can kind of see what's in the closet. Not that it matters to John because he will still ask me if he has any clean pants instead of looking for himself. But it does make me feel a little bit better. I am ready for the bigger closet with more shelfing. But all in good time. What does your closet look like? How do you organize it to fit your needs?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Desperate- Chapter 8 and 9

We are half way there! Last week we only covered one chapter and this week we are going to finish out section 2. So let's jump right in!

Chapter 8-
Remember the Calgon commercials? Calgon take me away! As a stay at home mom with homeschooling and 4 boys I want to escape A LOT! I put it under that I really really want and need94 adult interaction but let's face it- I am escaping. I spend a lot of time on Facebook. And I mean a lot. I get on my Nook and disappear for a while just for quiet. I actually found myself cleaning my room (the catch all room for the entire house) last week just to be by myself. When I am overwhelmed or just crave adult conversation I escape. And to a certain degree that is good. I don't think that I would last long if I didn't. But sometimes our escapes border on or become avoidance. Avoidance of our children and giving them what they need and want. Also at times it becomes very selfish. Not in a good way. I am guilty of all of it. I admit it. (Like right now I am writing this post to avoid my 2 year old because it has been a HORRIBLE day. As in broken mugs and a broken month old Leappad2.) And for some reason I only have one quote highlighted in this chapter (perhaps because I am escaping conviction?). Sally Mae says on page 94, “I want to look back and know that I was an intentional mother doing everything I could to nurture the souls of my children. They need me; they need me in their reality.” And perhaps that is why is it the only quote highlighted. It is a conviction in itsself. Because I want to look back and feel that way but I not always in their reality. I am in a virtual one. So now after lunch I turn the computer off unless we are not done with school. I try to leave my phone alone for several hours unless it rings or I get a text. I only read my stuff before bed or during reading time with my kids. Starting this week we are going to have family reading time and take turns reading aloud from a book chosen by one of the boys. We are also going to start turning off the TV. We don't watch regular TV at our house. I watch Hulu once a week to catch up on my shows and we watch movies otherwise. And no electronic games except in designated times. There are changes coming to our house and implementing them has taken time because of schedules and stubborness. The scriptures for this chapter are Galations 6:7-9 and Matthew 9:36.

Chapter 9-
Housework- I hate it! Mainly because it is never done with kids and also because no matter what I am the only one doing it. (Something out that is seriously changing) I have quotes from this chapter!!!! So here we go!
-”Our house is clean enough to be healthy, and dirty enough to be happy.” author unknown page 107
-”If you are not the cleaning type, then you are going to have to recognize that cleaning is a necessary, mundane task, and you may just need to buy yourself some pink glittery scrubbing gloves and get on with the work!” SM pg 107
-”When a mom complains and fusses as a regular way of life, it will inevitably go into the hearts of her children with great force.” SC pg 108 (I struggle here ALOT!!!!)
-”We can't get away with anything with our children.” SC pg 109
-”...a happy mom is a real gift to her children. A good attitude about work makes her children feel that she is glad that she is a mom and that she is thankful for her children.” SC pg 109
-”The attitude I adopt every day has the potential to affect the whole demeanor of my home. As the saying goes if mama ain't happy, ain't no one happy.” SC pg 110
-”Learn to be faithful and choose to be content.” SC pg 110
-”Find out for yourself what is the most confounding things in your own world are, and come up with a workable schedule, with solutions that suit your own hours and days.” SC pg 112
-”The constant stream of work will never really stop flowing; it will onl change and morph over time. Your home will never be perfect, but accepting housework challenges as a part of a normal life and embracing them as part of your regular rhythm will allow you to enjoy the people in your home. When you do, your children have the potential to remember home as a place of harmony and positivity.” SC pg 113

Proverbs 31: 17-18 and Proverbs 9:1-6 are the scriptures for this chapter.

We start section 3 next week!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Children are a Gift From God- Marriage and Mommyhood

 IT'S BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Today we start the second session of Marriage and Mommyhood an In(RL) community with a weekly bloggy link-up. I am so excited.

 This session with our In(RL) group we are going to do a study of the book “Desperate” by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson (you can tune in Thursdays here for my own series) and we are also going to do a weekly topics taken from the No More Desperate Moms Resolution.
 This week is item one- “I will choose to celebrate each day with my children as gifts from God.” I have always felt that children were a gift from God and that they should be loved and appreciated no matter what. Does that mean that everyday will be perfect and you will never have a single problem with your children? No, but it does mean that no matter what the problem is that day you need to remember what a precious gift you have been given. Sometimes that will be hard (like when your child breaks something really expensive) and sometimes that will be easy (like when they throw their arms around you and tell you they love you). I know several parents who have held their children only to have to turn around and give them back to God the same day or even several years later. And all of them say the same thing- as much as it hurt they were thankful for the gift of their child as long as they had them. My children drive me absolutely batty most days and make me wish I worked outside the home again a lot, but I would not trade them for anything. I am grateful for all of them. From the four that are here to the one in heaven that we lost when I was only 10 weeks pregnant. I love all of them. I pray for each of them constantly. (Sometimes that I don't kill them by the end of the day.) I worry about them because I care enough to. I love them unconditionally and I know what love at first sight is four times over. I also know what love is when you have never seen or felt them but you knew they were there. God has blessed me with my favorite gifts on this earth and I am eternally grateful. So I choose to live my life celebrating my children as gifts from God. I hope that you do too. 
Marriage & Mommyhood

I am linking up today with Kayse and Rebecca and the rest of our amazing ladies!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

When saying "No" means saying "Yes" to something bigger


Do you ever feel like you are just too busy? Or that if you say no you will lose your friends? Do you even have time to work on your dream or something for yourself?

It might be time to start saying “no”. I went from full time to part time in my job last July to finally have my dream of being a stay at home mom. It came along with homeschooling which was never part of my dream but I was able to stay home with my boys. Two weeks ago my PRN job vanished with the closing of the hospital that I worked for. And I thought that it meant I would be home all the time with no side job until a phone call came. Asking my for 4 hours a week to finish out the school contract that our department held. Of course I said yes because these were my babies. It was the hardest part of leaving my job in July. It was the one thing still pulling on my heart this entire school year. And at least I am not giving up the dream of staying at home. And it doesn't take away from my dream of building this blog and encouraging you. At the same time I have been given the chance to join a service organization that I have been interested in for years but could never get in. But it is a huge time commitment and I am not sure I am ready for that. But if I say no now I won't get that chance again. And who knows what kind of doors it will open. Then there are several upcoming events at my church that I apparently have no excuse not to be part of since I don't work. (They still don't get that I homeschool and I am not just sitting around the house all day). But this week I finally said No. I have said no to several other job related opportunities lately too. They take so much time away from my children and my blog. I am commited to this blog 5 days a week and I have a new series starting as soon as I have all the details but I am not commiting anything past that right now. You guys need me at my best where I can encourage you. Where I can give you what you need but that won't happen if I don't take some time off. And since my goal is to be a good mom and encourage you to do the same and to also stay on this road where I walk with God everyday and encourage you on your road I need to not have such a heavy load that I give up. Saying “no” is hard. There are some amazing opportunities that I may never get back but you have to do what's best for you and your dream. I am also about to start trimming down my Facebook groups. I realized today that being a part of 20 groups is really not in my best interest because I cannot give them the time that I need to to really be involved. So later today I am going to start leaving some groups. There are my 2 Core groups that I will not be leaving- God Sized Dreams and Marriage and Mommyhood but there are several others that I never post on and they are just there. I can let them go and I can give more of me somewhere else. I am starting to say no.

Can you say no? Do you know how? My children joke that it is my favorite word with them. But I don't say it enough everywhere else. Learn with me. Saying “no” might actually be saying “yes” to building your dream.

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Grammys

I did not watch the Grammys. I never do. And I certainly don't let my children watch them. I mean really, people need to cover up this is not your bedroom. That being said. I did look at pictures on People last night since I was up all night with the weather. Rhianna looked amazing (now she needs to dump the abusive Chris Brown and move on), Taylor Swift looked pretty, and so did Carrie Underwood. There were people who you just had to say "What universe are you in?" such as Adele (dearly love her but really that dressed looked like Mary Poppins magical bag), that girl who wore the green dinosaur looking dress, and Beyonce. And Faith Hill and Nancy O'dell need to remember their age and dress like it not like a teeanager. There were several questionable choices amongst the men as well. But since I only knew like 5 of them I couldn't even begin to say anything about them. I like that CBS put a dress code on it. The fact that some of these stars like Jennifer Lopez and Kelley Rowland think that they are above that is just a sign of the times. I have heard only good things about the performances and don't really know who won anything. But I did hear that Taylor Swift was singing along to every song and looked like she was having fun. Oh and of course she won. So that is my take on the Grammys as someone who did not watch it. I do appreciate the stars that followed dress code and covered up this year and shame on you the ones who didn't.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Getting Organized- Moving

I am about to get ready to really pack up my house to move. Finally. 2 years in the making. And I am EXCITED! The part I am dreading to be honest is the packing of our current house and then unpacking it all in our new house. I mean seriously dreading it. But on the upside I do know some great tips for moving. And I will be fully utilizing every one of them. So here goes:

1. Clean out as you go. As you pack go ahead and throw stuff away. Do the same thing as you unpack. You will be surprised what all you will find to get rid of. As I am packing I have a trash bag, rubbermaid boxes for storage, boxes to be moved, AND a box for the consignment sale I am going to in a few weeks.

2. Label the boxes with what room they will go to. It will be much easier as you are taking things into the new house to just be able to take the right boxes straight to the right room and unpack it right there.

3. Organize as you unpack. Go ahead and put the clothes in the right drawers, hang it in the closet, and put it on the right shelf. You will be amazed how much easier it will be and how much more you will get rid of as you unpack. Think yard sale or Goodwill as you are unpacking. And let's face it if you haven't used it in a year (other then seasonal stuff) you can probably get rid of it.

4. Enjoy. As you are packing think about what you are moving. The memories and the milestones. It will be fun and a little sad. And as you unpack think of all the new memories that will be made in your new house.

Any suggestions anyone has I will greatly appreciate! 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

"Desperate"- Chapter 7

I am really enjoying this book and I hope that you are too. Sometimes I disagree with the authors and sometimes I have to turn around and look really hard at myself and am convicted. I will definitely walk away from this book a better mom. I will definitely walk away knowing that I am not alone. And that just excites me. I love that feeling. Sidenote- I watched "What To Expect When You're Expecting" the other day and at the end Elizabeth Bank's character says that she finally found her glow in her son. I 100% agree. My children are my glow because I definitely didn't have it when I was pregnant.This week we are only going to concentrate on Chapter 7 because it is such an eye opening chapter for me.

Chapter 7-
"Selfishness is the very root of sin." (SC pg 78) I did not really consider myself selfish as a mom until I read this chapter. I rarely get myself anything even if I need it so that the boys can get something whether they need it or not. We rarely go anywhere just John and I so that the boys can go with us. I never really considered the fact that I was selfish with my down time. Sometimes I have to be so that our house actually gets cleaned but about 80% of the time it is because I choose to be.  And I know that it is more so now than when I was working because most days by 5 o'clock I am just spent. And I know that I need the time for myself but I have gotten very stingy with my time lately. I would rather sit there and read my book or watch a movie then play with the boys. Or spend my time trying to plan an anniversary trip for next month then think about the fact that the boys want to go see Monster Jam in Tallahassee this month and it is really going to become a choice between the two expense wise. (I think that anyone can see the appeal of meeting Willie and Si from "Duck Dynasty" without kids vs watching a bunch of monster trucks with the kids) I know which one will actually happen it is just a matter of wishing. Since I am such a quote person here are the quotes that really got me from this chapter.
-"Selfishness is an ugly, life-sucking disease that infests our very DNA." SM pg 80
-"Pride, that ugly beast that convinces us we are better, above, more important. If we didn't believe these things to be true we'd easily lay aside our own agendas and offer our lives to our babes in order to give them the time and training and actual love that they need. You and I, we love our children to the core of our beings. We would die for them. But for some reason, we have a hard time putting away our books, or our computers, or our crafts in order to serve them, train them, encourage them, and fill their souls with life. Every day." SM pg 81
-"We will have to choose patience and kindness over frustration and giving up. We'll have to choose to take time to train and teach and perhaps discipline. The choosing to engage means choosing to do the hard work of loving through our actions." SM pg 81-82
-"Ask Jesus to help you, to mature you, to teach you how to begin laying down whatever it is that has your attention and choose to offer yourself to the souls in your care." SM pg 82
-"If we put hard work now, we have a great possibility of seeing the fruit later. If you want to do the hard work, there are two things I can recommend as being beneficial: commit to being faithful, and then walk out your commitment by faith." SM pg 83
-"Day in and day out we give to our children, and it's a privilege to do so. I'm thankful for the opportunity to pour into my children, but when we choose to give the best of ourselves to them, we will need a break, or we will break. We'll get desperate." SM pg 84
-"I needed the dreadful "me" time. I say the "dreadful" because "me" time has a selfish connotations, and I didn't want to be a selfish woman. ... I think it's more selfish to go crazy and then not be fully alive for your children." SM pg 84
-" One of the marks of a godly woman is that she takes responsibility for her soul's needs for joy and delight." SC pg 86
-"God gave me my personality."- SC pg 86
-"Living by performance always kills our souls because none of us are perfect mothers, and we will fail in some areas, so we need to live by God's approval and mercy to feel His grace." SC pg 88
-"In taking responsibility for being a conductor of the music of your and your family's life, you will find joy and fulfillment...." SC pg 89

JOHN 13: 12-14
"So when He has washed their feet, and taken His garments and reclined at the table again, He said to them, 'Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet."

JOHN 15:13
"Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends."

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Where do you get your community fix?

Community is important. Having friends to talk to and lean on is essential in everyone's lives. So here's the question- where do you get your community fix? Is it with a Facebook group, at work, at a monthly group meeting? I want to know. I find community with a couple of Facebook groups, at a monthly painting "class", at church, and at a monthly ladies group meeting. And sometimes that is enough. Remember I am a stay at home mom who also homeschools. So I don't have the work community anymore. I still keep in touch with my co-workers and we still meet up sometimes but it is not daily anymore. So Facebook has become my community fix. Let's face it- 4 little boys will not cut it for interactions for a mom. I also have two blogs. I feel like  I am too "plugged" in some days though. I do take the weekends to be unplugged (mostly) but sometimes it isn't that easy. My children are part of the K12 school system so we are on the computer a lot during the day hence the great amount of time that I spend on Facebook. Twitter is okay but it really just does nothing for me except Wise Guy Si from Duck Dynasty. I love his tweets. I need ideas on how to get a daily community fix without spending so much time on Facebook and other social media sites. So now it's your turn. Any ideas????????

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

God Sized Dreams- Fears

This week's assignments is to write about our fears and the truths that are bigger then them. I thought that the timing of this question went perfectly with my teammate Ashley's Overcoming The Lie” project over at Because sometimes our biggest fears stem from the lies that we are told about ourselves- either by others or by ourselves. She actually asked me a version of this question yesterday and I answered with the biggest fear I have right at this second. I am terrified that I am not a good mom and that I am going to fail. I constantly get compared to other moms that I know by my mother. You know the comments- “she spends more time playing with her kids”, “her house is spotless and she works full time”, and my favorite “she never does anything without her children there- you are too selfish”. Well let me tell you my response to those- That first mom has a husband that does not work shift work and she only has 2 kids who are very close in age along with someone who cleans her house 3 times a week. That second mom has one kid and also has someone come clean her house several times a week and her child is a teenager who can only make a mess in one room of the house. And my favorite response this week was about mom number 3- she goes to a ladies group meeting twice a month, shopping without her kids at least 4 times a month, an art class once a month, and she just got back from a week in Hawaii without her kids and next month she is going to Washington DC for a week without her kids and has a cruise and a ski trip planned for later this year all without her kids. So yes she is without her kids a lot. The last mom was brought up when I mentioned that I was going to the same art class. And it is also the same mom that I brought up later that same day when I mentioned that John and I may be going somewhere for our anniversary without any kids. I have learned that I am a good mom. And comparing me to another mom is not going to work. Because all moms are different. All families are different. Every mom has her faults and of course we let the best of us as a mom show to the public. So you know what I am not going to fail. I have a great love for my children and am instilling a love for God in them. So I know that I am not going to fail.

Another fear is that I am not doing enough in my dream and that I am failing God. I am aware that I have a lot on my plate and I am doing my best to not get it too full. I am keeping my commitments low for right now. I am writing short “notes” of encouragement to people who need it, I am writing on my blog on topics that I feel are important, I am trying to give it all to God for him to use me as he sees fit. So I know that as long as I remember that my dream is given by God and used for him I will not fail. I will have bad days but I will not fail in the end. Because really it is all his.

What are your fears? What is the truth that is bigger than your fear?

***I realized this past weekend that I am also a very laid back mom and the mom of 4 boys. My youngest was at a birthday party and the kids were all playing in the sister's room. My husband and I along with my cousin and her husband were all sitting in there with the kids. My child starts climbing down the ladder of the bunk beds with just socks on his feet and slips. He falls all the way down and lands face first on a pink barbie phone on the floor. He now has his first black eye. You can bet that my mom had a lot to say about it.

Linking up with Holley Gerth and the rest of the God Sized Dreams Team. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

"Beyond Ordinary"- a review

Since we finished "The Do What You Can Plan" last week, I am starting this week off with a review. I bought this book on my own after reading another blogger's review. I have received nothing for this review I just feel strongly about this book.
Beyond Ordinary: When a Good Marriage Just Isn't Good Enough
I have read a lot of books on marriage and none of them have touched me as much as this one has. Justin and Trisha Davis take you through an honest journey of their marriage with no sugar coating. They tell it all. And to me that meant a lot because most marriage books talk about how great the author's marriage is and how they want you to have the same. And let's face it while you are reading you know that they are not telling the whole story. This one is so different. They back their advice up with scripture. They give honest perspective to normal issues in a marriage and make you take a hard look at your own marriage without judging or telling you how you are supposed to feel. I started a section in my journal to answer the questions at the end of each chapter. And looking back from the first chapter to the last chapter and seeing the difference in my answers really affected me. I really noticed how much Trisha's thoughts matched some of mine. I am really working on it now that I realize it. I want to have an extraordinary marriage. And guess what, John is going to read the book too. As soon as I get his Nook library updated. I think that this book would be a great gift for anyone- Newlywed to "old married couples". It is a great book that I highly recommend you finding at your favorite book retailer and reading and applying it to your marriage. I also think that it would make a great book for a couples group study. Buy it, read it, and then come back and let me know what you think of it!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Getting Organized in 2013

This week it is all about pantries. I just got back home from spending some time with my grandmother-in-law after my grandfather-in-law passed away. That is where this post is coming from. I don't have an actual pantry in our current home. We do in our new home we just haven't moved yet. But my cabinets are organized. All the green beans are in a row, all the canned stuff is in a row by what it is. Same for the boxed items and bottled items. So is my mother-in-laws. Mimi's not so much. Even she said it. She has to hunt for everything. That would drive me crazy on a daily basis. I like knowing where to find things. And I like being able to just open a door and see what I am running low on and need to get at the store. So while my cabinets/ pantry will never be in alphabetical order or anything they are at least organized by the item. And that is enough for me. How are your cabinets/pantries organized? I fully intended to have pictures for this post but my life had other plans. I will post pictures of my new pantry in a couple of weeks after we move in and it is all set up. Along with before and after pictures of each room. I am getting excited and seeing paint colors in my sleep.