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Showing posts from June, 2020

No Wanting

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I feel really blessed during this pandemic because my husband has still been able to work. I know this is not the case for a lot of people. If it had happened a few years ago, when I was working in a restaurant and he was in any of his last three jobs, we would have been hurting for sure. My heart really goes out to those who are struggling, and I hope you are getting help during these tough times. Hopefully, now that things are opening up more, people will be able to catch up. I imagine that for a lot of people its going to take a while. 

I recently had a few encouraging moments financially this past month, and I wanted to pass them on to anyone who may be struggling with faith where finances are concerned. 
We are currently in step three of the Dave Ramsey Financial Freedom program. Our current goal is to save up 6 months of income. No easy task. When we got our kicker check, we put it right into savings. It would make a nice start to our goal. 
But then summer hit, and with that c…

Repeat A Lie...

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"You hear a lie enough times, you start to believe it"


Have you ever heard that before? I know I certainly have and I believe it's true. When something is repeated often, we tend to think that it's truth.

I was talking to a lady recently who was struggling with believing truths about herself. At the end of our conversation I spoke truth over her... "You are loved and lovable. You are the best mom for your kids." and she believed none of it! Not only did she not believe it, but she didn't feel it helpful to speak truths over herself that she didn't really believe...

If LIES can be believed if spoken over us enough, why can't TRUTH?

I feel like we are wired to remember bad things people say about us so much more vividly than the truths spoken over us, but I sincerely believe it's worth it and important to speak truth over ourselves, our kids, our spouse or partner, and our lives EVEN when we don't believe it!

Maybe we'll have to say it a hu…

Not MY Kid

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I've had two children in the hospital last week.

That is not my norm. My children are all very healthy. One had some troubling allergic reactions when she was 3 and the baby choked while coughing up some gunk that was in his lungs as he was fighting a virus a few months ago, those are the only times I've had to take any of my 5 children to the hospital in the past 11+ years of parenting.

Until this past week. And it was actually a really good reminder for me.

First, my son had his hernia surgery on Sunday. We had to go to a children's hospital for it, because it was in a delicate place and we wanted someone who does these kind of repairs on a regular basis.  Because of coronavirus, only one of his parents could be in the hospital with him. The obvious choice was my husband, since the baby doesn't drink from a bottle or cup yet. It made sense logically, but as my son and husband walked towards the hospital that morning, I felt like my heart was walking away, too.


So the…

Boston Tea Party

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My daughters and I love to learn and one of our favorite subjects to learn about together is history.

We've recently started a weekly History Tea Time that my girls and I absolutely enjoy. It's our "Girl Time", our quality time without baby around, it's our Mom and Daughter Time.

This particular Tuesday we were diving deeper into the Boston Tea Party. I had heard a YouTube Homeschool Mama talk about teaching her kids critical thinking during her history time by presenting the information and asking what her kids thought about it. 

"Do you think that was the right thing to do?"
"What would you have done in that situation?" and so on.

I LOVED that idea and was going to try it. We talked briefly about the basics of the Tea Party and then delved in to the question of what we personally thought and felt and what we would've done in their shoes.

My eldest and myself both said we thought it was wrong to destroy other's property (the tea) and said w…

You're Surrounded

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Do you ever feel a bit claustrophobic?

I think all mamas do.

Right now, with all that is going on in the world, its pretty easy to feel that way. For one, you are literally wearing a mask when you go out in public (some people for the entire day!). For another, there are so many problems in the world, its easy to focus on them and feel that pressing down on your heart. Riots, racism, sickness...ugh.

I was feeling really depressed over it all. Then, last week, I read 2 Kings 6:8-23. Elisha's servant is upset because of the large enemy army that is surrounding them. Elisha calmly tells his servant that there were more on their side than there were on the enemy's. I'm guessing the servant must have looked at Elisha like he was crazy, because the man of God then prays for his servant to see the mighty spiritual army of God that was surrounding them. And he does see it, and it is massive.

It was really encouraging for me. It's easy for us to see the problems in the physical wor…

Drowning

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I'm having a week where I feel like I just can't do this anymore.

It's all piling up and I'm drowning.

We're pursuing moving and getting our house ready. It's STRESSFUL! I have a loved one who is going through some deeply heavy stuff right now. The COVID-19 stuff is still around and effecting our lives. Then add in the terrible tragedy of the death of an innocent man and the riots resulting. It's all too much!



The weight of the world is adding to my already heavy load. The kids, it's summer break (which is a little bit harder than the routine and predictability of the school year), and our DOG has been causing problems.

This leaves me feeling a lot of self-doubt.

I can't do this! I don't know how I can carry on like this. This is too much. I'm in over my head. How am I going to manage?

... Why is it this hard?

Have you been asking that question too?

I don't know how I can take it much longer.

So what's the answer? What's the encouragement…

Am I Selfish?

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I have been wondering if I have been a little too selfish lately...

Don't get my wrong, I spend a lot of time like this:



With a baby glued to me. Nursing or just wanting to be held or both. Now that he is crawling (in his own, special, goofy way) I know that a lot of my time will be spent chasing him. 
But lately, I feel like I've actually been getting a lot of time to myself, too. I've been asking the girls to occupy the baby while I turn on my podcast and work in the kitchen. I have been binge listening to the Trim Healthy Podcast the past few weeks and, I must say, it has been FEEDING my soul in a big way, as well as teaching me more about how to feed my body. I feel like a lot of important breakthroughs have happened through it. And I am cooking and cleaning for my family in the meantime, so that's not really selfish, right?
I've also been attending a Mama's Night Out every Friday. We are working through a devotional together, so it could almost be called a Bib…

Heavy Hearted

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I was feeling really heavy hearted this weekend and it was seeping from my soul to my body, leaving me exhausted and drained. I had a quiet morning but I still just wanted to crawl back into bed and go to sleep.

As soon as the day got loud and hectic, I knew I need to get away, to go take some time to thing and feel and be.

So I left the kids with my husband and drove off in my van armed with a notebook, journal, and pens. I found a place to park (I like to just sit) and pulled out my journal.

I know writing is not everyone's thing, but it sure is mine! As I put thoughts down on paper, my mind grew more clear. What I was heavy hearted over was not only more obvious but had become more clear as the serious situation it was.

As I put things down on paper, my heaviness lifted and, though what I was processing was deep, acknowledging it felt like a relief. After I wrote for awhile I went and got a treat and ended up on my phone...

You know what? That heaviness that had lifted came RIGHT BA…

Blinders

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Last week my mom told me a story of a visit she had, years ago, from her boss. The sweet lady had come to our house to visit and my mom was giving her a tour of the yard. They were picking sugar peas from the garden and eating them, and my mom started talking down about her yard. This lady looked at my mom and gently reminded her, "Don't focus on what you haven't gotten done yet, think about what you have gotten done." She said it in such a kind and convincing way that my mom still remembers it clearly, and it's probably been thirty years.

I have a confession: I love working in the yard, but I don't like hanging out in my yard. It's not because I don't love being outside. It's because when I am just sitting or walking through the yard, all I seem to want to focus on is the things that need to be done.

I have a hard time seeing the roses in the midst of all the weeds.

Lately, I've been trying to remind myself to wear my blinders when I go into the…

A Crazy Adventure?!?!

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Remember that restless spirit I was talking about with you last week (read that blog HERE)? Well, I thought about that forward movement. I thought about my and my family's goals and dreams and then I had a pivotal moment...

I was at church (back in the building YAY) and I felt awkward. WHY? I love my small little church (read about our move HERE), I enjoy the people, and the sermons are good... Why did I feel unsettled....

Because I knew, despite my best efforts, we couldn't stay there. As much as we loved it and invested, it wasn't working for our children, and our children are our mission field, our first ministry.

I was sad. I felt a little lost. WHY do we have to go through this again? Why do we have to make another change? Can't we just make things work?

As we drove back home, I asked my husband what he thought. He agreed we needed to find a church that was better for our kids. Then here's where that pivot moment came in.

"Why don't we just move?" I s…

Caterpillar

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I recently listened to the audio book called Love Without Borders by Angela Braniff. 
Angla Braniff is a YouTuber and adoptive mama that I just adore. She's a women of faith and humor and I've enjoyed watching her videos for years. I expected her book to be about her motherhood journey, her kids, and even her channel but what I ended up listening to was a story of BOLD FAITH, of breaking the mold and following Jesus no matter what.
It was inspiring and thrilling and I walked away with more courage than when I started listening to it.
One particular part, near the end, stood out to me that I really wanted to share with you! It's about a caterpillar... Well, not really. Angela shared about how us moms often long for the women they used to be before our child(ren) changed our bodies, our lives, and how we see the world.
She shared that she felt differently. That, for her, it was like the transformation between a caterpillar and butterfly. Such a dynamic and even difficult change b…

There's a Plan...

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It has now been a year since my son started his verbal and motor tics.

They continue to ebb and flow, but last Wednesday I felt like they were going to drive me crazy. We were playing a board game at my parent's house, and it was late and he had eaten some cookies (tiredness and sugar both seem to trigger strong tics), and he had to go through a ritualistic tic EVERY TIME it was his turn to roll his dice. I kept encouraging him by telling him that he didn't have to do them and suggesting that he try doing the opposite of the tics, but there was no helping him. The tics and OCD behavior had complete control. So we stopped our game and came home and went to bed. And I cried.

I was seeing how disruptive his behaviors were to his life and imagining what his future would be like, and the questions were just more than my heart could take. Would he always be like this? Will it get worse? What will his adulthood be like? Will he be able to get a job he enjoys, get married, have children…

Delight!

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In my household, we are already on summer break so it's important that we get out most mornings so the kids don't start making mischief.

On one of our weekday mornings we decided to head out early for our walk but stop and let my nearly 2 year old play on his balance bike for awhile. He has only ever rode it in the house before and I wanted to give him a little more practice.

I fully expected a few falls, tears, and skinned knees, so I threw thick pants over his shorts and put shoes on to protect his feet. Helmet on and he was ready to go!
That little kid was AMAZING! He never really balanced but he pushed that little bike all around easily. He only made one spill the whole time and he didn't fall even when his bike did. Not only did he not fall, but he decided to conquer the curbs and pull and "drive" his bike over the curbs he found. 
That kid was beyond adorable and I stood with my daughters looking on with delight. They grow up too fast! I thought while beaming w…

Dirty, Rotten Liar

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My son is going through one of my least favorite phases: a lying phase.

"Did you put away your dinner dishes?" I ask as he comes running outside.

"Yes!" He runs past me and jumps on the trampoline with the rest of the kids. I go into the house a while later and see the dishes on the table.

"Go put your dishes away. Because you lied to me, you can't jump on the trampoline again tonight." I get busy weeding my flower bed. After a while I look up to see my son on the trampoline. Turns out he told daddy that I had said he could go back on after all.

"Because you lied again, you wont get any of the lemon cheesecake we are having for dessert."

 "Mommy, I wont lie next time we have lemon cheesecake." He says as he watches us eat our dessert.

Not exactly what I was going for, but it's a start. At least he was acknowledging that there was a not-so-fun consequence for his actions. However, the next evening he lied to me about clearing his dish…

A Restless Spirit

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I've been struggling with a restless spirit lately.

Feelings of discontent and stagnancy that I know are exasperated by coronavirus restrictions (thankfully that are lifting).

It feels like I'm spinning my wheels, nothing is moving forward in life, and the same old thing is still the only thing that is happening.

Not a fun feeling.

I tried to think of what an encouragement for that kind of feeling could be that I could share with you and I was stumped for awhile...

Then I realized: Let it move you forward. There's times when discontent is rooted in a lack of gratitude and a wrong perspective, but other times it means it's time for a change, time to move forward, time to work towards your goals.

So if you, like me, are feeling restless and struggling with feelings of discontent. Evaluate if there is a goal you can work towards, a dream you can make steps towards, or even a small task you can accomplish that would help you feel some forward motion.

Much love,
Joy

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